His short film, Little Terrorist, made it to the Oscars in the short film category. Now, filmmaker Ashvin Kumar is ready with his maiden feature film, The Forest, scheduled to release this September.
Featuring Javed Jaaferi and Nandana Sen, the film shot in Thailand, Corbett National Park and Bandavgarh National Park is on relationships with a greater message.
Excerpts from a chat with the director:
What is the inspiration behind the story?
I wanted to make a thriller set in the Indian jungles, which the rest of the world hasn’t seen. It’s primarily aimed at entertaining people, which they will come to see and hopefully leave with a message.
What kind of message?
As a race, human beings are self-absorbed. We’ve forgotten that there’s a natural world that exists, which we should be paying respect to. It is a symbolic tale about the greater issue of global warming.
Now, this is a metaphor — I possibly can’t make a movie on global warming, so make a movie on something and hopefully the audiences are smart enough to get the message.
<b1>Did you face any difficulties shooting it?
Working with the animals was harde, more so since we had a tight schedule of 28 days. Since we didn’t have the luxury of a big budget, we couldn’t have too many visual effects. I wanted to shoot everything authentically. We even commissioned people to capture tigers fighting.
The leopards had to be brought from Paris and then shot in Thailand because of the strange laws in India. We also got the guy who was part of The Gladiator to shoot with the tigers in Thailand.
Then the leopards were stuck in customs, so we had to complete the shoot in two days. So some adjustments had to be made in the script.
Who is your target audience?
This is an entertaining thriller and the audience will come to watch a film with a lot of blood and gore and action scenes.
I feel the film can travel to the smaller territories because of the thriller element — there are animals involved and there are lots of city guys who get stuck in a situation of their own making.
Anaconda was such a success even in smaller towns. So, I’m hopeful.
Are you sending the film to any international festival?
No. We are looking at the Indian release now. The global release will be next year.
I’m currently working on an issue-based film about Islam, terrorism and radical fundamentalism. It will be set in Kashmir. There’s another script on prostitution in Delhi — it’s a crime and sex drama. At some point I may write a comedy, which is my genre, but before that I want to explore a lot of subjects.