STOP AS­SUM­ING AU­DI­ENCES ARE DUM­BER THAN THEY ARE

India Today - - SIMPLY KOLKATA -

One ques­tion I am tired of an­swer­ing is “when will we get to see your films in a cin­ema theatre”. Each film is meant for dif­fer­ent me­dia.

Gandu was meant for sur­rep­ti­tious view­ing on mo­bile phones. Tasher Desh, sim­i­larly, is for the big screen. This film, is an adap­ta­tion of Rabindranath Tagore’s mu­si­cal which left an im­pact on me. It’s a clas­sic text, I couldn’t let go and kept com­ing back to it. Why? It’s be­cause we see a side of Tagore that you don’t see in his other works. It’s fan­tasy— not a genre he is known for. His works are nor­mally known to be soft and ro­man­tic, but there is an al­most post mod­ern in feel here. This film you could say has been brought to life by sev­eral par­ents. It’s pro­duced by five co- pro­duc­ers. While National Film De­vel­op­ment Cor­po­ra­tion of In­dia ( NFDC) is pre­sent­ing the film, Over­dose Joint is the pri­mary pro­ducer while Anurag Kashyap Films, Dream Dig­i­tal and En­tre Chi­enn & Loup are co- pro­duc­ers. This wasn’t a case born of too many cooks but a ne­ces­sity con­trolled by the cir­cum­stance. How else can one fund a film like this? Why would some­one spend 5 mil­lion Eu­ros on a film with­out a bound script? It is en­tirely im­pro­vised.

But that doesn’t mean that it was all left to chance. I have in­vested huge amounts of time with my ac­tors, and they with me. We were in sync with each other, so much so that we knew what one would say when an ac­tor moved a cer­tain way. This kind of an un­der­stand­ing was cru­cial to my film. We have artistes from all over the world, col­lab­o­rat­ing on the mu­sic. That is ex­actly what Tasher Deash needed. The play had some 23 songs we’ve used about 16- 17. Hav­ing the sup­port of so many just helped ex­e­cute my vi­sion. This to me proves the need for govern­ment’s sub­sidi­s­a­tion of the arts. In de­vel­oped coun­tries across the world gov­ern­ments sub­sidise the huge cost of mak­ing a film. Only when we have that will I see more films worth watch­ing. More in­de­pen­dent gems like Ship of Th­e­seus. It’s time we stop sec­ond guess­ing our au­di­ences and as­sume them to be dum­ber than they are. Our job is not to ped­dle medi­ocrity to bow down to make profit. What we seek from art is en­gage­ment. En­ter­tain­ment is su­per­flu­ous. Qaushik Mukher­jee aka Q is a film­maker

As told to Malini Ban­er­jee

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