Producer-director Shoojit Sircar is back, this time with a fun film, Running

“Madras Café was such a difficult film to live through, I was looking for a break from the grimness,” says Shoojit Sircar, who has now embarked on a fun film titled Running “Amit Roy (director) had barely told me the title of the film when I identified with it and said yes to the proposal,” says Shoojit, who is producing the film. “I have had a vast amount of experience with ‘running shaadis’. I have helped at least eight people elope. It seems silly now, but at that time it was the most righteous thing to do.”

The film on two individuals (Taapsee Pannu and Amit Sadh), who help people in eloping and tying the knot, has gone on floors this month and is largely set in Amritsar. The Bengali-by-birth filmmaker, who has earlier made Vicky Donor and won accolades for his bull’s eye capture of the Delhi Punjabi mood, says that it comes naturally to him. “I am certain that in my last birth I was a Punjabi; hence that hidden trait surfaces every once in a while!” he says, adding, “But the nuances of Amritsar are very different from that of Delhi. I like to build the ambience in any film that I do. I think it adds immensely to a film. In fact, Taapsee fits in wonderfully because she is from Amritsar and is a Sikhni to the core.”

While his other film with Ayushmann Khurrana, titled Hamara Bajaj, is in the scripting stage and is also undergoing a name change, thanks to a run-in with the brand, Shoojit says he is careful with his current film. Asked how he has become so prolific a filmmaker after a seven-year hiatus post Yahaan, Shoojit says, “I recovered from my depression. For seven long years, I was nursing this dream called Shoebite (his unreleased film with Amitabh Bachchan). I couldn’t come to terms with the fact that a film with India’s biggest star would face difficulty in release. I used to sit in the UTV office every single day with a face like that,” he says, contorting his face into glumness. “I was like a mother who had delivered a stillborn baby. But even now I wouldn’t say I can detach myself from my work. I try to, but it’s not always possible. But at least it’s on course again.”

The filmmaker says he has two more films, including a Hindi and a Bengali film (on a sports personality) in the offing. “I am also trying to develop something big with Amitabh Bachchan, but that’s still in its early stages. Besides, I am also working with John (Abraham) on another film,” he says. Asked if he would like to work with A-listers in Bollywood, Shoojit says with a straight face, “If the script demands I will go to them. But I will never chase them.”