'All of us have the same struggles'

revolutionary streak

'All of us have the same struggles'

When one analysis Agneya Singh’s body of work, it is not difficult to say that the independent filmmaker helming the new revolutionary wave of Indian cinema has an inherent interest in transcending the calm waters and exploring the troubled lands.

Having worked on several documentaries before, his debut in full-length feature has been announced with his film M Cream (starring actors like Tom Alter, Barry John, Imaad Shah and Ira Dubey to name a few) that has already won the Best Feature Film Award at Rhode Island International Film Festival 2014.

“We didn’t plan to take it through the festivals. Infact, we made this film for Indian audience,” says Singh with a foreign accent in his voice. “Infact, international film festivals like Rhode pick up films that are either an image of mainstream Bollywood (that go well with Indian diaspora) or reflect abject poverty and other exotic elements of India. The fact that they accepted M Cream shows that they are ready to see a new side
of India.”

In the writer’s words, it is a story that is “A reflection of what is going on in reality. I am happy to have made a film that is true to its subject. It just doesn’t talk about the young generation and their unending quest but also meditates on what is going on in our country,” he says with reference to the plot based on Tibet’s exiles. Inspired by his contemporaries in avant-garde filmmaking, Singh realised the potential of Indian youth and their rebellion while pursuing his film course in New York. “Youth today are politically aware even though they are misguided. Yet, some people are very confused and one can’t expect them to take on the world. The big step is that they are encouraged enough to question the system,” he mentions in reference to the climax of his work.

He says he is not against mainstream and “all forms of cinema must have some space but the substance that used to be there in films of even 60s and 70s is missing today. Our cinema should not reflect an idolised version of reality because in the process, it does more damage than good.

We are moving away from realism.” The film M Cream by the Delhi-based director was screened at India Habitat Centre recently where a large crowd turned up and many had to be turned away due to security reasons. Singh states clearly that the film is for “Youngsters and those among the older generation who are young at heart.” But the unexpected response from youngsters across the world towards the film makes him realise that, “they are able to connect with the characters. All of us have the same
struggles.” 

Yet one cannot deny that the film has got mixed reaction from movie-buffs due to a script that talks much about the new generation but ends on a confusing note. Singh, however, is “excited” at these dissimilar reactions and mentions that “There is a strong international reaction to the film and those who have seen it, agree that it is beyond India. The reactions have been extreme with some even getting scandalised at the rebellion of today’s youngsters. Atleast people are interested enough to watch it,” and smiles in all innocence.

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