Ritesh Batra isn’t limiting his options. His next project is a British film, The Sense of an Ending, which will be released this year. He has also been simultaneously directing an American drama.
Speaking of his experiences of directing films overseas, The Lunchbox (2013) director says, “Making movies is very different there [in America]. When we shot The Lunchbox in Mumbai, we shot at the locations we had already decided on rather than at studios. When I made the movie with Robert Redford in America, it was more of a machine [technical] there, because it is a studio film. There are 300-400 people involved in a crew. Both my previous films had small crews. But as far as the positioning of the movies goes, they are all the same, including the sets and crews.”
The director says that he watches Hindi films as well. “Hindi films are getting better every day. I have heard great things about some movies that Nawazuddin Siddiqui has done. The last Hindi film that I saw was Piku (2015) and I really loved it,” he says.
Actors such as Irrfan Khan, Priyanka Chopra and Deepika Padukone have found success in Hollywood, but Indian directors aren’t often seen making movies overseas. Ask Ritesh if Indian directors get opportunities to make films in other countries, and he says, “I’ve gotten a lot of opportunities to direct Hollywood films, so I can only speak for myself. My experience has been positive.”
Besides feature films, Ritesh has also tried his hand at short films. However, the director says he only did so to experiment. “It [making short films] doesn’t take long and doesn’t cost much. I thought of it as a way to practice what I wanted to do,” he says.