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