Reaffirming the popular notion that art imitates life, Onir is planning to make his next film on corruption. The director had started it as one of the four tracks in I Am, but later decided to turn it into a full-fledged feature.
“I realised that corruption is a much bigger issue and so, it could not be encapsulated into one short story,” he reasons., adding that the plot was inspired by someone he knows well. “The topic has generated a lot of interest in India lately and I’ll incorporate what is happening today to make the story more topical.”However, Onir denies that the film, which will be set in Punjab will feature characters modelled on yoga guru Baba Ramdev and social activist Anna Hazare who are currently on a fast to end corruption. But he admits that significant developments of the day will be woven into the storyline. "My film will be in the genre of No One Killed Jessica but treated like an Erin Brockovich (2000) and The Constant Gardener (2005)," he asserts.
The filmmaker, who has already begun researching for his social thriller says that his priority is to complete the script in three months while travelling to various film festivals with I Am. Thrilled that I Am is in its third week in Singapore, Onir is looking forward to the Kandy International Film Festival in Sri Lanka and Durban International Film Festival in South Africa next month at which the film will be screened, along with the World Cinema Amsterdam Film Festival.
“To make a film like this, one has to explore a different revenue model because it’s not the going-all-out-to-release kind of subject,” says Onir, also excited about being invited for the Human Rights Film Festival at the Syracuse University, New York.
Interestingly, the director whose I Am got an overwhelming response in Kolkata is also working on another script set in the West Bengal capital. “It’s a story about relationships called Shab, meaning night,” he informs, quickly adding, “But I’d like to make the social thriller on corruption first.”