All about Indian cinema

All about Indian cinema

The show takes an in-depth look at a director’s craft, perspective and vision. Presented by noted filmmaker Sudhir Mishra, this series features directors like Shekhar Kapur, Danny Boyle, Mahesh Bhatt, Aparna Sen, Mira Nair, Shyam Benegal, Ramesh Sippy and Govind Nihalani. “At IIFW, we are dedicated to promote, support and nurture the spirit of independent cinema,” says Ketan Mehta, President, Indian Independent Filmmakers Worldwide.

The series offers the viewer, hour-long episodes of serious, conversation-style interactions between Sudhir Mishra and his guests. Together, they touch upon technical aspects of filmmaking, understand the ever-evolving, demanding audience and the emerging need for meaningful cinema. MasterClass helps viewers understand what makes each of these filmmakers and their films, unique.

Excerpts from an interview:
You were also involved in the conceptualisation of the show. How were  the guests chosen?
We, at IIFW, have the right to choose the guests. So far, we’ve had stalwarts of Indian cinema come in. If I felt that I couldn’t do justice to the person sitting across me, I didn’t interview them. I looked for those filmmakers who are still excited about cinema and all that it has to offer, like Prakash Jha and Ramesh Sippy.

With all 13 episodes completed and the show on air, do you have any personal favourites?
Well, that’s a tough one. Mira Nair is a close friend and we started our career at the same time. So our camaraderie came right through and it was special. I thoroughly enjoyed interviewing Shekhar Kapur and Mahesh Bhatt. Although I don’t know Aparna Sen personally, the interview turned out be fun. I have grown up watching movies by Shyam Benegal, so the episode featuring him was very personal,  and the experience enriching for me.

On the show, do you also discuss the personal lives of your guests?
I have done so in some episodes which are included in the uncut DVD version. For example, in my interview with Danny Boyle, he talked about his Irish upbringing, his religious beliefs etc. Mahesh Bhatt is not media shy either. We discussed his personal life too, with ease.

Why would you recommend people to watch this show?
It is the director’s cut; my interaction with a filmmaker. It is in-depth and extremely interesting. MasterClass, unlike any other film-based series, cuts out the glamour and glitz and focuses only on the craft of filmmaking. I shared a great rapport with my guests and was able to sympathise and empathise with them. The show is all about the genius of filmmaking.

Define yourself as a filmmaker
I am a story-teller. I am the man who sits under the tree and talks about things of the past, or my time. I like to be funny, sometimes grave. But I always have a story to tell. While I’m making a film, I try not to watch other films. My focus is solely on my project.

According to you, who are the most underrated and overrated filmmakers in Indian cinema?
Most of them are overrated. Young directors of Indian cinema hold a lot of promise and I expect to see some astounding work from them in the future. Anurag Kashyap, though not underrated, is a brilliant filmmaker.
How has the experience of working on ‘MasterClass’  been for you?
I am proud to have been a part of the team that conceptualised the series. I learnt a lot about filmmaking through each episode and made some good friends too.
Watch ‘MasterClass’ every Thursday at 10 pm on Fox History and Entertainment

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