‘MY FILMS ARE MY TRAVEL DIARIES’
Imtiaz Ali says he likes to travel because it opens up his perspective as a filmmaker and gives him a chance to learn new things
From the terrain transitions in Highway (2014) to the culturallyrich lanes of Prague for Rockstar (2011) and the azure waters of Corsica in Tamasha (2015) travel has been an intrinsic part of Imtiaz Ali’s (above) cinematic works. The filmmaker considers them his “travel diaries”.
The avid traveller, who likes to explore the local culture and connect with the vibe of a place rather than do the tourist routine, says he has never made a scrap book or diary in which he puts down his experiences. “It is just the movies that I make... The films that I make are the diaries of my travel... Because for me, movie-making is sort of linked with my personal travel,” says Imtiaz, adding, “When I watch a movie for which I’ve shot in Portugal, it will reflect what I feel about Portugal.”
Having widely shot for his films across myriad destinations in north India and Europe, Imtiaz says that a recent award given to him for promotion of tourism through films goes to “show that the work I have done in different countries, has encouraged Indian tourism there and that’s a good feeling for me”.
Asked if he shoots abroad because shooting in India is a problem, he says, “I feel there is no place called abroad, and there is no one place called India either. Every place will have its own difficulties... It’s not always difficult to shoot in India, and it has not been easy either always to shoot abroad. And vice versa. It’s a mix of both types,” says the 45-yearold Jamshedpur-born talent.
The filmmaker says his travel escapades have been enriching for his professional career too and opened up new perspectives. “Travelling in itself makes you discover newer things about yourself, and this kind of a selfreminder and awakening is very important for filmmaking. The other thing is that when you work abroad, it’s a very different way of working and you learn different things from them... Things that people don’t use in India, and that happens wherever in the world you shoot.”