"Getting audiences to ask questions is good"
Ashoke Vishwanathan may not be known name in Delhi, the venue of the 5th Cinefan festival of Asian Cinema. But's more because of the language his films are made in, Bangla, rather than the quality of his films, which have already seen him win multiple National Awards. HindustanTimes.com caught up with him at the sidelights of the festival.
You have made five feature films to date, all on different themes. Was that a conscious decision?
No. It just happened. Of course I have tried to avoid repetition in my films. While my first film Shunya Theke Shuru was on the Naxalite movements, my next film, Kichhu Sanglap, Kichhu Prolap was a genre that I believe is completely new -the culture of adda. My other films too have explored different themes.
Of your films, which has been your favourite?
That is a difficult question to answer. I am attached to each of my films. I am grateful that each of them has been acclaimed and some have done well in the box office as well. Of course one evolves as a director and
Your films have a deviation from the linear technique followed by most Indian directors? Was this conscious?
I have a style of my own. Even when I have made a melodrama, there are instances that would not be found in a normal realist cinema. I am trying to move away from the introduction-build up-climax-resolution pattern that has been built up. If my making my characters wear different coloured makes the audience ask questions, then I have achieved my target. I want the viewer to be engaged, to be asking questions.
Do you see the audience taste changing?
Though slow, there are indications of a desire for newer themes, different treatments to films. Television has helped by exposing people to films from different lands, different cultures. This is a healthy trend and one which augurs well for cinema.
How difficult is it for a filmmaker to get funding in Kolkata?
It is still very hard for filmmakers to get the funding. Except for one, I have been the producer or co-producer for all my feature films. Which makes it that much harder for me or any other filmmaker. But this true for most of us.
What is your latest film, Byatikrami on?
On the surface, it is about the attraction of young woman for her brother-in-law. It is also about the confines of a marriage, and the restrictions it imposes on an individual. Here I am on the side of Anuradha, the young woman, who wants to break out of those confines and fulfill her potential.
Is Indian cinema able to reflect the realities of the India?
To an extent. If you see films by Anant Patwardhan, you get an idea of what is happening.