Lawrence Bender, the producer of Inglorious Basterds is in Inida to speak at the FICCI frames. He says he is in talks with some of the Indian producers and is considering the idea of making a film in Mumbai.
What brings you to India?
I’m here to speak at FICCI Frames and to show my film, Countdown to Zero, to Indian producers. It’s about the urgent risk of nuclear proliferation and potential of it being exploited by terrorists.
After seeing the massive effect of An Inconvenient Truth, I decided to base my next documentary on the nuclear issue because people don’t understand the urgent threat they pose.
What does it feature?
It has interviews with Tony Blair, Mikhail Gorbachev, Pervez Musharraf, and people from the CIA. We didn’t interview Obama but he is in the movie along with Jimmy Carter.
The film also contains interviews with Pakistani leaders because the tension between India and Pakistan poses a threat to the whole world. Pakistan is unstable right now, and it has nuclear weapons, which is of great concern. Nine countries have nuclear weapons and 40 more can develop them in six months to a year. We are in a precarious situation. The only solution is to get rid of them all.
Do you plan to release in India?
We are currently selling the rights across the world, but we don’t have a distributor in India yet, which is why I am screening it here. India has these weapons and so it’s important for people to watch this. I am hoping that a Bollywood production house will take it up.
What’s your view of Climategate in respect of An Inconvenient Truth?
There is a lot of noise and the emphasis of the problem is getting lost. A total of 2,500 scientists from 130 countries verified the IPPC UN report that stated the level of risks we are at. Now we have reached the worst-case scenario. People who say it’s not important are doing a disservice to the world.
Have you ever made a film on or about Mumbai?
No, but I’m talking to Indian producers while I am here. I have met some very good producers, so I am considering the idea.
Why hasn’t Bollywood become a hit with international audiences, like say Chinese cinema?
Good question. It’s hard to answer these kind of questions but I am sure it will happen, it’s just a matter of time. If you stick to what you know, eventually it will find an audience.