Q&A WITH KIRAN RAO
After the much-acclaimed Dhobi Ghat, Kiran Rao has made her return with two films that need just 10 seconds each to make their impact
Q. Most filmmakers like to take time to tell a story. You return from a nine-year hiatus with two 10-second Facebook ‘Thumbstopper’ films.
It was happenstance. The idea was to create a social impact and illustrate that duration is not crucial to show some kind of change. We are in an age where we are fighting for the finite attention of audiences. As people making stories, it is important to understand what that is doing to narratives themselves and how we look at visuals.
Q. Do you wonder how some directors end up making a film a year?
Most directors who are prolific have a team of writers working for them. The heavy lifting is done by someone else or they are making substandard films. Consistent high-quality work is rare, which is why I so admire people who manage that, such as Hansal Mehta.
Q. Chennai is going through an acute water crisis. Many Indian cities have perilously low groundwater now. What are Paani Foundation’s next steps?
Water scarcity is an extremely pressing issue. At Paani Foundation (founded by Rao with husband Aamir Khan), for the past four years, we have been working in Maharashtra to create a people’s movement to fight drought by offering training in decentralised watershed management, leadership and community building. With what we have learnt from the Satyamev Jayate Water Cup competition since 2016, we plan to work on water management and ecological restoration as well.