Filmmaker Ashutosh Gowariker seems fascinated with India’s past. After making the historical love story, Jodhaa Akbar, in 2008, he directed Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Sey in 2010. And now, he plans on going further back in time for his next.
“This time (the story) is based on the Indus Valley Civilisation. It will again be a period film, a love story… and it will be made on a large scale,” says Gowariker. The director, however, restrains from divulging too many details. “It will be another week before I announce it. It will have an ensemble cast and will be a big budget venture,” he says.
There were also rumours about him making a film based on Ashwin Sanghi’s book Chanakya’s Chant, but he rubbishes the news. “No, I was never going to direct any film on any novel. This film is entirely my story and not borrowed from anyone else,” says Gowariker. The director is currently at the 12th edition of the International Film Festival of Marrakech, where he will attend a screening of Jodhaa Akbar on December 5.
Although this is his first visit to the Moroccan capital, he was surprised to see that the locals were well aware of his Oscar-nominated Lagaan (2001), which was screened at the festival in 2002. “I had heard about the response it received at that time as Aamir (Khan) had come to Marrakech back then. Now that I am here with Jodhaa Akbar, I want to know what the response is like for this film too,” he says.
Ask him, if given a choice, which one of his films he would have liked to screen here and he says, “It would have to be Jodhaa Akbar only. It’s about religious tolerance and not the grandeur, but the theme of the film, I feel, is more important.”