With movies like Taare Zameen Par (2007), Stanley Ka Dabba (2011) and Hawaa Hawaai (2014) to his credit — writer-director Amole Gupte (left) is known for giving a fresh lease of life to children’s films in the Hindi film industry. The 54-year-old is now ready to direct a new kids’ action-adventure project, titled Sniff.
“I don’t make children’s films. I make films with children in them. The protagonist is a child, but the movie is also meant to be consumed by adults. In Bollywood, movies with child-centric angles often lose their sheen. Something needs to be done about that. We need to reinvent the genre,” says Amole.
Talking about the issues that plague the genre, the director rues, “We lack funding. Film-makers in Bollywood just want to follow the trend [of making commercial movies], rather than setting the trend themselves.” Amole gives the example of producers who vehemently back the launches of their children — by becoming “bullish and investing every paisa in their kids’ kitty”. Children’s cinema should also be supported in the same manner, he feels. “Nasir Hussain (late producer) went all out to launch Aamir Khan, for example. But nobody wants to do that for children’s films,” he adds.
But Amole hasn’t lost hope. “It’s not that we are not attempting things in this space. I feel Bajrangi Bhaijaan (2015) was a children’s film, since the protagonist, Harshaali Malhotra, was a little girl. Even Ra.One (2011) was like that. But, to make any film these days, a star is needed. You have to swim with the sharks, and hope that you — a dolphin — are spotted,” he says.
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