Tête-à-tête with Deepa Mehta
The Indian-born Canadian film director Deepa Mehta speaks to Srishti Jha on the changing perspectives of Indian cinema, transition in international film-making, her India-connection and forthcoming projects. Read on for full interview.entertainment Updated: Jan 04, 2010 17:50 IST
A: Indian cinema has evolved over a period of time. Presently its quite technically fascinating. Recently I saw some Hindi films which absolutely fascinated me.What amazed me was the intelligent screenplay. Indian cinema is attaining new heights in terms of technicalities. A good story, fun elements and quick-wittedness is defining the present Indian cinema.
Q: You started off your film career as a screenplay writer for children's films and you had no formal training in film-making. How has been your journey so far?
A: Actually I ddn't. I started working in a cinema workshop in Delhi which was focusing on documentaries. I learnt my kind of film-making over there be it camera work, sound, screenplay, etc. It was a wonderful experience. I learnt each and every aspect of film making over there. Film is a very powerful medium and my only intent is to speak through my films. The journey has been remarkable and a learning experience and is still going on.
Q: What is your take on international cinema?
A: International cinema has got a wide spectrum. Thai cinema, Asian cinema, Chinese cinema are coming up in a new light and creating wonders. Presently the most exciting cinema is Korean cinema because its bringing in diversity and uniqueness. Rip offs of Hollywood movies is not what is defining internatioanl cinema presently.
Q: What is the most important thing when it comes to film-making?
A: The whole idea of story telling.If you can't tell a story, you cant make a film.One should also engage well with the characters in the film at an emotional level.
Q: How do you connect to India and Indian culture?
A: I am an Indian, I feel Indian. I have been born and brought up in India. I have acquired my ways of film making over here. India is a part of me and will always be.
Q: You have experimented with a variety of subjects in your films. What is the reason behind that?
A: It's all about growth. I can't stick to one genre which you can make out from my films. I believe in variety and newness.
Q: Any new projects?
A: Right now I am working on a movie called Midnight's Children. The shooting will start in September.
Q: How do you see NRI film making?
A: It's nothing different. It's also a way of communicating with your roots and culture and creative expression.