'I have learnt from theatre'

'I have learnt from theatre'

Shoojit Sircar has an unassuming way about him. He’s clear about the kind of films that he wants to make.

 Metrolife caught up with the director, who recently inaugurated Suchitra Film Society’s short film festival in Bangalore.

Ask him about his memories of the City and he says, “I come here sometimes for work. Bangalore has changed. However, my films have done very well here — there is a good audience for serious films.”

His eyes light up as he speaks about his films. Though he is only three films old, his affinity towards serious subjects is quite clear.

“These issues have bothered me and that is why I have made films on them. Whenever there is a strong conflict, I try and imagine myself there. Sitting in cities like Kolkata and Mumbai, one will not know what a Kashmiri youth goes through. I feel that I can look at them from a critical point of view due to my upbringing in theatre. It helps me analyse and introspect,” he notes.

His latest, ‘Madras Cafe’, was one such film. “I was very careful abut what I said as there could have been many versions of a particular story. It was not only the research — it was years of reading newspapers and magazines that most youngsters don’t even know about. The fact that the film was made and released was an achievement for me,” he details.

A veteran in three different fields — films, theatre and advertising — he admits that he owes everything to theatre. “Whatever I am and whatever discipline I have, I have learnt from theatre. Theatre has taught me how to give a perspective to an idea, the treatment, working discipline and political angle. Back in those days, we never had a budget for our productions. We managed to get hold of a costume, book a theatre and rehearsed in the middle of a park. But film is a brilliant medium — you can do so much with it. I am still learning, but I am thrilled with the kind of films that I am making,” he adds.

His yet-to-be-released film, Johnny Mastana/Shoebite, gave him the opportunity to work with Amitabh Bachchan and he can’t stop raving about it.

“He’s a legend and I love to work with him because of his discipline and faith towards the director. He is a director’s actor — once he is convinced about the film and the director’s treatment, he leaves it to the director. He has spent three decades in the industry. He will keep rehearsing and unless he is ready for the shot, he will not go ahead. My way of working is similar,” he notes.

With the festive season round the corner, the director is all set to take sometime off and relax.

“I am a little exhausted after ‘Madras Cafe’, so I am taking a break and looking forward to celebrating Durga Puja in Kolkata,” he says.

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