Manoj on ‘fes­ti­val films’: They are tak­ing In­dian tal­ent to the world

Hindustan Times (Patna) - Live - - Front Page - Sneha Ma­hade­van

In his ca­reer span­ning over two decades, Manoj Ba­j­payee has been a part of a host of films cov­er­ing dif­fer­ent gen­res. A lot of his films have also made it to pres­ti­gious film fes­ti­vals across the world. His up­com­ing film Gali Guleiyan is cur­rently be­ing screened at a film fes­ti­val in Los An­ge­les. Ask him about the term ‘fes­ti­val films’ and the ac­tor turns livid.

“Only in In­dia do we try to look down upon the achieve­ments of a film be­cause we are so main­stream driven that there is a cer­tain mind­set to look down upon qual­ity work. But what they can’t take away is the qual­ity of the film. What is a fes­ti­val film? These are the films that are tak­ing In­dian tal­ent and cre­ativ­ity to the out­side world. Peo­ple only know In­dian films as song and dance and these are the films that bring in cred­i­bil­ity and re­spect. So if you are call­ing it a fes­ti­val film, you bet­ter watch out be­cause it is def­i­nitely a fes­ti­val film but it is also a bril­liant film,” says the Ali­garh (2015) ac­tor.

De­spite be­ing part of niche or in­de­pen­dent films, of late he has been a part of a few com­mer­cial projects like Baaghi 2. But the 48-yearold clar­i­fies that he had his rea­sons to do them. “When­ever I do com­mer­cial films, I do it be­cause the money that is of­fered to me is quite lur­ing. Also, I find it very hard after so many years to say no to my friends. I did Te­var (2015) , be­cause I was quite flat­tered with the way Amit Sharma — the di­rec­tor, kept com­ing back to me and show­ing in­ter­est in me. He was des­per­ate to cast me and it all started with that. Baaghi 2, I did for Ahmed Khan and Mukesh Chab­bra. I didn’t do it for the money. Yes, I def­i­nitely asked for a dif­fer­ent price be­cause the bud­get is dif­fer­ent from the in­de­pen­dent films that I do but I don’t look down upon main­stream films. I know most peo­ple in our coun­try want to watch magic and larger than life ad­ven­ture on screen and they like it,” he says.

Manoj Ba­j­payee does not like the term ‘fes­ti­val films’

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