The West’s fascination with Mumbai slums hasn’t ended just as yet. After Danny Boyle making slums look ‘exotic’ with Slumdog Millionaire, it’s Irfan Kamal who’s treading the same wobbly bylanes. Just that he’s got a cause screaming out loud through his perched lips.
Kamal’s directorial debut, Thanks Maa, brings to fore the plight of abandoned children. “It’s an issue of universal
connect,” he feels. May be that’s why the film’s been nominated for two awards at the Edinburgh International Film Festival in the Best New International Feature and Best Skillset New Directors categories.
The acclaimed film that opened the International Film Festival of India held in Goa last year, has an all-children cast of new artists. And that’s how Kamal wanted it to be.
“I didn’t want any stars for the film. The whole team revolves around them and the movie loses its charm,” he says.
True, but that’s also the reason why he still hasn’t been able to release it in India. “Indian production houses have waken up to realistic films but still want at least one star to feature in them. I can’t blame them since the industry works like that,” he informs. Sad, but true. But Kamal may just spring a surprise at us soon. “I’m off to the Cannes Film Festival to hold screenings of my film for the buyers and distributors who visit it from across the world. I’m also in talks with two big foreign studios who want to back my film. If all goes well, we may end up having a Hindi film officially releasing in the US,” he says.
Great news, but just in case it doesn’t work out, he has a back-up. “I’ll release it under the prod-uction house, Quantum Films Ltd and hopefully do enough business for my next film which could well be a relatable love story based in Delhi,” says Kamal with a smile.