Where do you put Star Bestsellers in your body of work?
It is surprising how many people remember the show. People may perceive it as successful today. But it was not revived after the first season. It may not have brought a lot of financial success to the channel, but it did create a lot of buzz.
What do you remember about directing an episode for the show?
Although I was already directing some episodes for CID and Aahat, I remember it distinctly. The story centred on the dilemmas of middle-class parents in Mumbai, who believe a gangster killed in a police raid on a hotel, resembles their travel agent son who resides in Bangalore.
The episode was called First Kill and the main investigator was played by Abhimanyu Singh, who went on to play a firebrand student leader in Anurag Kashyap’s Gulal. But there were some other actors, who were very good at their job, such as Manoj Joshi, Sandeep Kulkarni and Anant Jog.
The show was a refreshing first for Indian TV and it gave a platform to newcomers like Anurag Kashyap, Tigmanshu Dhulia and me to showcase our work as filmmakers.
What did you think of the hour-long format?
It was Shailja Kejriwal’s idea. The length gave us the opportunity to consider each episode a film. Most of us were waiting for our first big film and in Star Bestsellers, we could lend a film-like treatment to every episode.
To make every story appear different was a challenge. It involved all the effort and pain that goes into making a full-length film. We didn’t have the luxury of a big budget, but we still tried to impart a cinema-like quality to the episodes.
From HT Brunch, January 10, 2016
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