Filmmaking is a journey, says Rima Das
There are good days and bad days during the lockdown,” points out actor Tanuj Virwani, who is enjoying spending time at home, and is pursuing hobbies that one can’t in a daily work routine. “I don’t need to cook as I am lucky to have a live-in chef but I decided why not utilise this time to learn something. I have started cooking something that I am not really good at. My mother (Rati Agnihotri) is in Poland with my aunt, so I am missing her and the food she cooks,” he says.
The Inside Edge actor, along with his colleagues, have come up with an animated comic series which is aimed to reach out to people who are flouting the lockdown rules and also raise money for Covid-19 warriors, “I was shooting for a web-series with Jitnedra Joshi and Ritwik Dhanaji when the lockdown happened. We were randomly talking about how we wanted to be innovative and at the same time not be preachy. We decided to do something lighthearted that yet drives home the point,” he says, adding, “It is targeted at people who are behaving irresponsibly and aren’t understanding the meaning of lockdown. The end is to raise money through this series and contribute to an NGO,” he shares.
How much has his life changed post the lockdown? “I am a hyper person and always like to be occupied with something, so the first couple of weeks were difficult as it happened suddenly. But this period has been a journey of self-discovery. It feels like we have hit the pause button, and it is for the good. The lockdown has somewhere been therapeutic as it has made me calmer and more patient as a person which is going to help me, both personally and professionally. It has allowed me to spend time with my family and people who matter the most,” he concludes.
Filmmaker Rima Das, whose film Village Rockstars (2017) was India’s official entry to the 91st Academy Awards, has been staying alone in Mumbai during the lockdown. “I was working on an untitled film with Tillotama Shome. More than 50% of the film was supposed to be shot in Mumbai and the rest in Assam. But now, the film is going to be on an indefinite halt. We would have had a crew with us. It looks very unlikely that shoots will begin anytime soon,” she says.
Talking about spending time on her own, Das says, she used to always like her own space “but this lockdown and pandemic are ‘forcing’ people to stay at home, which is increasing my anxieties about the uncertainty of things even more. How many movies can one watch now, it is getting a bit too much.”
Das wishes she was at her native place in Assam right now, but she is hopeful that she will be able to head back home soon. “We have to be hopeful in these times. That’s all we can do,” says the maker of films such as Bulbul Can Sing (2018) and Man with the Binoculars (2016).
Initially, Das who wanted to become an actor, says making her award winning film
Village Rockstars was a journey of sorts for her. “I have heard people say negative things about it. But there will always be people who will say both positive and negative things. One has to be sensible enough to take something from both. When Man with the Binoculars didn’t do well, I was devastated, and I cried one day in the middle of the road, but I did not give up. I kept trying. Filmmaking is a journey. Some people are lucky, they get instant success but for others it’s a process, it’s not something that can be achieved in a day. You might even get success overnight but the effort, the dedication, the passion and the love for making films are a continuous process,” says Das who enjoys watching Majid Majidi and Andrei Tarkovsky films, and wishes to make more “realistic and experimental” films.