Everyone associated with Udaan, which garnered acclaim at the Cannes International Film Festival this year, is being lauded for the effort. But producer Sanjay Singh was relegated to the sidelines. Politician Kripashankar Singh’s son is unperturbed and believes the only way ahead is to make good cinema. He’s roped in Matrubhoomi director Manish Jha to helm his next project, Mountain Man, and is hoping to sign on the Heroes’ star, Sendhil Ramamurthy for it.
Still at Cannes, Singh was reluctant to reveal much about his second project, with which he launches his production company, Sanjay Singh Films. “I wanted to make a good film first, get noticed for it and then launch my company. I’m in no rush. I’ll make one or maximum two movies at a time. I liked Manish’s story of a man who overcomes agreat personal tragedy and works hard to do something for society. Sendhil (Ramamurthy) is the ideal choice and it would be great to have him on board,” says Singh.
For now, the Udaan producer is content with the appreciation for his debut project at Cannes. It doesn’t matter to him if Bollywood stars like Abhishek and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Mallika Sherawat didn’t care to attend his film’s screening.
“Since it was the first Indian film to be screened at Cannes in a long time, and the Bachchans were there, it was natural to expect them to watch our film. They were walking the red carpet for other films like Outrageous. It would’ve been great if they had come to see an Indian movie too,” he sighs. Udaan releases in India on July 16.
Item song please!
Singh reveals that it was difficult to find distributors for Udaan. “Some wanted us to add an item song. It wasn’t possible with a story that revolves around fathers letting their children make their career choices,” he rues.
When asked about his politician father’s reaction to his movie-making plans and the result, Singh says that his father was pleased to see what he came up with. “He was happy that we were breaking new ground in terms of content and execution.”
With Udaan’s acclaim and a statement like ‘I don’t want to make a film with Shah Rukh Khan jumping from a helicopter’, would Singh ever want to work with big stars on big-budget extravaganzas? “I admire Shah Rukh for making it big despite not coming from a film family. But I’d rather make realistic movies, that normal people can connect with,” he states.
“My political background connected me with several grassroot problems that people face everyday. So, I’m happy about producing Mountain Man after Udaan. I want the audience to take home something with them when the end credits of my film roll,” adds Singh.
Ask him how a politician got interested in making movies and Singh owes it all to his filmmaker friend, Anurag Kashyap. “I’ve known Anurag for years. It was after the premiere of Dev D at Venice that I decided to get into film production. And now, with Cannes, I’m proud to have represented the country there,” he recalls.