Just back after the screening of his debut production Udaan, directed by Vikram Motwane, in the Un Certain Regard category at the Cannes film festival in France, Anurag Kashyap already has a plan in place for his next three productions after Udaan’s release on July 16. One of the three movies, to be directed by Rahi Anil Bharve, will be a 3D horror film, produced by Kashyap for UTV, in collaboration with a “Hollywood special effects 3D giant studio”. “I’ve fortunately always got a great response and support from the international market at every festival I’ve been. I’ve been in talks with many studios for a while now and one of the projects, which is underway, is a 3D horror film that will be an international co-production with a Hollywood special effects 3D giant studio and UTV reveals Kashyap.
Bharve, who will be making his big screen debut with this film, has earlier directed a short film called Manjha, which Danny Boyle had featured on his Blu-ray DVD for Slumdog Millionaire. Kashyap is producing two of his other movies for UTV too, and both will be big-budget love stories. One of them will be Motwane’s next after Udaan. Says Kashyap, “The script of the movie has already been locked, and we’ve approached big stars for the film. It will start shooting at the end of this year and release next year.”
The other love story is a quirky romance as Kashyap puts it, and will mark the Bollywood directorial debut of two-time National Award-winning Marathi filmmaker, Sachin Kundalkar, of Gandha fame. “This is the first time I’m making such love stories in my life,” Kashyap grins. “We’ve already zeroed in on actors we know can do the roles, and have started hounding them. This movie should go on the floors by the end of this year too.” All three movies, which are scripted by their respective directors, are part of Kashyap’s nine-film deal with UTV, which he signed last year, after the critical and box-office success of his movie, Dev D. UTV has also made Udaan, and has put its weight behind Kashyap’s next release as a director, Girl In The Yellow Boots.
“I’ve always wanted to make the kind of films that I don’t think other producers would have the courage and vision to make. UTV has consistently backed me on such films,” Kashyap says.
National Film Development Corporation (NFDC), that has been missing from action in Hindi cinema, is also partnering with Kashyap to make Girl In The Yellow Boots. Kashyap comments, “NFDC has revamped itself and is re-emerging now. Apart from UTV, NFDC is being talked about in the foreign market in quite a big way.”
“Between Sanjay Singh (co-producer of Udaan), UTV, NFDC and another friend of mine from Chandigarh, who has complete faith in me, I’m set for making the kind of films I want to, for the next five years,” Kashyap grins. After Udaan’s release in India, Kashyap will start shooting for a Bihar-based gangster movie that is scheduled for release in 2011. After that, the director of Black Friday and Gulaal, will start work on his big-budget Bombay trilogy with Studio 18 and Danny Boyle, which will be followed by the superhero movie, Doga.
‘We’ll premiere Udaan’s international cut soon ’
Anurag Kashyap in conversation...
How was the response of Udaan at Cannes?
(Smiles) The screening went very well. People were crying, they surrounded Vikram and kept clapping when he stepped out. It was overwhelming. Rajat (Barmecha) was like a star, he was signing autographs and posing for pictures! The film didn’t win, but it received great reviews from the press. Variety, Hollywood Reporter and most of the local press said great things.
Only a part of the French press didn’t like it, but I guess that’s because they weren’t comfortable with crying in the theatre. They found the film ‘too Indian’, but that’s what I’m proud of in the film!
Did you fancy your chances at winning?
(Chuckles) Cannes was a bolt from the blue. It was an honour just to be there. Usually, Indian films are only showcased there, but this was screened in a competitive category, so it made people sit up and take notice. My proudest moment was seeing Vikram Motwane’s name among all the international directors at Cannes. I’m extremely proud and jealous of Vikram at the same time!
Did any international distributors show interest in the film?
Yeah, UTV has been talking to a lot of people. Various markets and distributors have shown interest, and the film has already been invited to Beirut and Melbourne film festivals too. The only problem is that European films are iusually under two hours, so we’re making an international cut that will premiere at a film festival in September.
Will you rope in an international director for that cut, a la Kites?
I’m the kind of producer I would like on my own film. I hadn’t even seen a single footage of the film until it was ready. I have full faith in Vikram.
What made you produce Udaan in the first place?
I’ve been associated with Vikram for several years now. He’s the guy who taught me sound design during Paanch. He’s been a cinematographer, a director of sound, he’s assisted Sanjay Leela Bhansali on two films, and in spite of being so talented, he wasn’t getting a producer to direct his film just because he wanted to make it in a certain way.
What attracted you to the script of the movie?
I read his script in 2003, when he asked me to write its dialogues. When I read it, I told him that only I could produce it. (Chuckles) That’s what happened. It got turned down by everyone, simply because there wasn’t a star in the movie. I love the script — it’s a simple story about a boy who wants to grow into the man he wants to be, and not what his father wants to be.
There was news that the people from the Indian contingent was approached to walk the red carpet for the film, but they didn’t agree.
That didn’t happen. It wasn’t about the red carpet…. But we were expecting people from the Indian contingent to turn up at the film’s screening at least. But the enthusiasm shown by them was a letdown. (Sighs) I don’t know, in spite of doing so much for the industry, I am still treated like an outsider. It was quite apparent at Cannes. Things like these make me more determined, although I fail to understand what’s wrong with these ‘stars’ and ‘big directors’. As it is, they don’t see a lot of films — it wouldn’t have hurt them to support another Indian movie.
‘I’m not going to cast Kalki in every movie’
I’m very happy for Kalki, for the movies she’s bagged, touchwood! I’m only working with her on The Girl In Yellow Boots, which should release by the end of this year. I’m aiming to take the movie to film festivals, and explore the world market. Nobody wanted to support me on this movie, so UTV stepped in. (National Film Development Corporation) NFDC has also come on board as co-producers to help me complete the film. It’s on hold right now, as I’m waiting for the money to complete it.
I’d love to direct Kalki again in a movie of mine, but she can’t be a part of Bombay Velvet, or my Bihar movie, since she doesn’t fit in any role. Just because I’m seeing her doesn’t mean I’ll cast her in every movie. It’s a thin line I’m walking on.
‘There will be a Hollywood actor in it’
On his bombay trilogy
The script of Bombay Velvet, my first film for Studio 18, in the Bombay trilogy, has finally been locked. I’m going to narrate it to a star at the end of June, and direct it immediately after releasing my Bihar-based movie. I’ll shoot the other two movies only after the release of Bombay Velvet. Danny Boyle is on board for this movie. We’ve spoken about doing a few other things too. But he’s been shooting his movie for five months, so I haven’t been able to meet him. Aamir’s (Khan) not been finalised for the movie, or any of my other movies yet. But there will be a Hollywood actor in it.
‘I want a kitschy title like Badle Ki Aag for my revenge drama’
On his bihar-based movie
I’m jealous of Vishal Bhardwaj for the way he has been able to use the rusticity and lingo of rural India in his movies like Ishqiya. I’ve always wanted to make a rustic movie representing where I come from.
I’m making a revenge drama that spans 60 years and three generations. It revolves around coal mines, underworld and mafia in Bihar. It has a cast of over 200 people, some of whom are based on real characters. It’s going to be an action-packed film. I want a kitschy title like Badle Ki Aag for the film; maybe I’ll keep a poll and let people decide. I’m getting back with Manoj Bajpayee after Satya and Shool. There’s also a new girl called Huma Qureshi, who I directed in the Samsung ad with Aamir Khan. It also stars Nawazuddin, Rajpal Yadav and actors from Love, Sex Aur Dhokha.
For the matriach of the family in my movie, I want Shahana Goswami. But she’s yet to get back to me because a majority of her role, which is in the second half is still being written. I also want a new face from Bengal for a role. Once Udaan releases, I’ll start shooting for the film, and it should be out early next year.
Anurag Kashyap’s movies lined up after Udaan..
Untitled bihar-based gangster movie: Starring Manoj Bajpayee, it is a revenge drama spanning 60 years, revolving around coal mines and the Bihar underworld.
To release in 2011.
Bombay Velvet: Script of first movie in the Bombay trilogy has been locked. Danny Boyle is on board, will start shooting in 2011.
3 Doga: Script almost locked. Kunal Kapoor is training intensively.
4 Untitled 3D horror film: Directed by Rahi Anil Bharve, it will be co-produced by a Hollywood studio.
5 Vikram Motwane’s next: A big-budget romance. To release in 2011.
Sachin Kundalkar’s debut: National award-winning Marathi director’s (of Gandha fame) debut Hindi film will be a romance.
To relase in 2011.