Politicians quoting the film helped, says Uri director

Uri Director Aditya Dhar at IFFI 2019 in Pajim, Goa. | DH Photo: Pushkar V

Uri was one of the biggest commercial releases to be screened at the 50th International Film Festival of India (IFFI). The film was represented at the festival by director Aditya Dhar. DH caught up with him for an interview:

Q. You have denied that Uri is a propaganda film, but do you think it has ridden the nationalist wave in the box office?

A. See, when we were making that film, we didn’t know it’s going to become so big. The moment it released, the sort of response we started getting from the audience, from the army, it was completely overwhelming. Now, I don’t know what wave this is, but I know any great content in this country will work. There have been nationalist films in this country that have not worked. The audience is very smart nowadays. Social media is running everything and everybody is very aware. So, if you provide them great content, that is what will work.

Q. There were many government screenings and a lot of politicians have quoted the film. Was that added PR or advertisement?

A. Might be. Which generated a lot of awareness because we didn’t have a lot of stars in the film. It generated a lot of curiosity and yeah, it helped us a lot.

Q. Has anybody used ‘Uri’ to further their agenda?

A. Even if they have, I can’t do anything.

Q. But have they?

A. I have no idea. My point is that I am making a film for the audience. How the audience wants to use it -- it can be anyone across the spectrum, from a sportsperson to a minister to normal janta -- everybody is saying ‘How is the josh?’ I am happy that they are saying it. So, I am enjoying the process.

Q. Do you think showing a big Bollywood film at a festival takes away attention from smaller films?

A. We should be open to all kinds of cinema. And it should not be, like, it is a film festival, so it should have only small or parallel or art films. It should have everything. And that is the beauty of our country actually, that we should be open to everything. It should be from a great Bollywood masala film to the screening of an old Satyajit Ray film. At the end of the day, a festival like IFFI needs a lot of marketing and PR for it to be a global event. If there is a famous actor or a famous director attached to it, it will get a lot of media attention from abroad. And that is something we require. As a country, we require great, big events to happen over here. It’s great for the local economy.

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