One of the new faces of new wave cinema, Dibakar Banerjee seems to have created a zone for himself which is far from the mundane and breaks away from the conventional style of filmmaking. After making a reputation for himself as a feature filmmaker, he says he is currently making a short film that shall soon be out. Making a short film is always interesting, he says because it allows filmmakers to say what they want without worrying too much about the budget and returns.
On a recent visit to the Capital to take part in the alumni meet of Bal Bharti Public School, his alma mater, he sat down for a chat on the sidelines. Excerpts:
What is the first thing you look for when starting a film?
It is difficult to generalise and is more instinctive than something planned. But every film of mine so far has started from a day-to-day life observation. “Khosla ka Ghosla” started with a casual conversation with someone on the generation gap; “Oye Lucky Lucky Oye” was made after an interesting news report about a thief who apart from valuables also stole greeting cards!
It is apparent from your movies that you are not much into shooting abroad. Is it deliberate on your part?
In my work I always try to say something about things and society around me. You will not find villages in my films because I have never been there and don’t know much about it either. The urban middle class and India is what I know best, therefore I try to make films on things I know the best.
In recent times there has been a dramatic change in the demand from the audience. In such a scenario what role can movies play when it comes to things like society building and social responsibility?
I feel that the trend now has neither worsened nor improved. It has just changed, and change is something that never changes. It always continues. Films in themselves can’t revolutionise the society but what they can do is keep an idea alive in the society. For this, dissent and conscience must prevail upon the filmmakers and the actors.
Do you think there is a need for decentralisation of the industry so that it can be taken to smaller pockets?
I don’t think any such thing is required. It is human nature to concentrate. The technical part of setting up an industry can’t be overlooked. For setting up the industry you need a strong business place so that money can be put in and people actually do go to the theatre. Apart from this, a large specialised force is required. All this cannot be realised in small towns. But what can be insured is that more films concentrating on smaller pockets can be made, and talent from these regions can be given exposure and garnished further.
Science fiction is a region into which Bollywood hasn’t ventured much. Why do you think it has been so?
It is more of technology-fiction than science-fiction. We live in a society that focuses on social bonds. Technology is not yet the driving factor in our society and the same gets reflected in the films too.