STOP ASSUMING AUDIENCES ARE DUMBER THAN THEY ARE
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