‘Arthouse films not yet a sustainable model in India’
Actor Konkona Sen Sharma, who made her directorial debut last year with A Death in the Gunj which bagged several awards, says that she has been fortunate with the kind of response she got for the movie, both on home ground as well as on international platforms.
But she says that making arthouse films in the movie space is not yet a sustainable model in India.
“I think that I was fortunate with my first film. But it is not yet a sustainable model. I am in a position of huge privilege ... having been an actor and also because my family’s association with the industry,” Sen Sharma says.
She adds, “But I wonder what it would be like for my next film, I wonder what it would be like for someone else who has not been an actor before becoming a director. I do not think that there is any go-to model for these films. It is more about luck and goodwill.”
Topics that are dark in nature attract Sen Sharma’s attention. “I am interested in things that are unexplored, uncomfortable, dark. If everything is light and happy then it is a little boring,” she says smilingly.
She says, “When I was writing it, I did not think that it would necessarily get made or I would get the funds for it. But I knew that if anybody came forward to produce the film, it would have to be [in collaboration with] likeminded people.”
She adds, “There are not a lot of people, but there are some of us [in the Indian film industry], who are interested in a different kind of content.”
Talking about the film where a group of family members bully the protagonist Shutu, as he does not conform to many of their general ideas, Sen Sharma says that she associated a lot with the character.
“I feel a lot of myself in all the characters [in the film], but particularly in Shutu,” she says.
Sen Sharma, born to writerj-ournalist Mukul Sharma and prolific actor-director Aparna Sen, says that she did not feel the pressure of expectations while making her directorial debut as she chose not to think about it much. “I just kind of let the story drive me. For a long time, I was really quiet about it. I wanted to make the film because it interested me. I made the film because I felt compelled to,” she adds.
Konkona Sen Sharma made her directorial debut with A Death in the Gunj