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I love getting awards: Bhansali

However, he adds he doesn't make films for the box office. Black rules the roost at IIFA awards

india Updated: Jun 29, 2006 14:49 IST

Sanjay Leela Bhansali says he loves getting awards, big or small. But he couldn't attend the International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) function in Dubai - where his Black picked up the top honours - because of work related to his new film.

"I always enjoy IIFA. And I had even taken a few days off from the shooting of Saawariya, got my clothes and tickets in place. Unfortunately, sudden work related to my new film came up," Bhansali said.

Excerpts:

Why were you missing from IIFA?
It just couldn't be helped! I was very keen to go. After all, Black was nominated in so many categories again, and this time on an international forum. I always enjoy IIFA. And I had even taken a few days off from the shooting of Saawariya, got my clothes and tickets in place. Unfortunately, sudden work related to my new film came up.

I had to make a choice. My heart was in both places. To me what I'm creating now requires my presence much more than what I've already nurtured. Black is no longer mine. It has gone out to people and touched their lives.

Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Black stole the show at IIFA

But I'm thrilled to win so many awards, and more thrilled by the

Black

act at IIFA that Amitji (Bachchan) and Rani (Mukerji) participated in for Shiamak Davar. My being there wouldn't have added to the film's glory. But I'd like to thank IIFA for honouring the film even though I wasn't there.

Your bulk of awards for four films are an all-time record for any filmmaker in any part of the world.
I just feel honoured that all my four films have won awards in all the main categories. I can't say I've had enough of awards. I want my next Saawariya to win as many awards as Devdas and Black, if not more. I enjoy awards. It's a pat on the back for your efforts. A small society in a nondescript town or the IIFA, I love getting awards anywhere anytime. But I don't make films for awards or for the box-office. You can't make a film with an imaginary applause track playing in your mind.

Do you think stress makes you a better creator?
Are you serious? Of course not! Any disturbance or distraction is death for me. For some strange reason people seem to derive some pleasure from putting me through these tribulations. None of the stress must show up in the film. Yes, there's a lot of pain in my film. But why must I go through this unnecessary suffering while making my films? People seem to put tremendous faith in me. I can't afford to let them down. Unfortunately there's always some kind of unwanted pressure on my creativity.

You're a week into shooting your new film.
Yes, and Saawariya is a bigger challenge than any of my four films so far. This is the first time I'm working with newcomers. I've always worked with established stars. Saawariya is also another musical after "Devdas", and that too for Sony International. It's an opportunity that has to be used fully.

Is Saawariya an entirely new experience from your earlier works?
Oh completely! Whatever was true for Black or Devdas is no longer true for Saawariya. I'm as nervous as a first timer. The mood and treatment are completely new to me. The film has me on the edge. That's the only place where I am at my best. Will Saawariya work? People told me Black wouldn't work. I like these uncertainties. There's no fun in doing something where success is certain. I believe in pushing for impossible goals. I've a long way to go. And people who want to spoil my reputation will never succeed. Because there's a hand from above protecting me.