Different strokes

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NEW AGE Amrit Sagar feels the days of jingoistic filmmaking are over
NEW AGE Amrit Sagar feels the days of jingoistic filmmaking are over

AMRIT SAGAR would like to make films he believes in

Amrit Sagar says if he had not been a filmmaker he would have been a yogi! "I was born and brought up on film sets," says the director of 1971. Life on a film set makes sense as Amrit is the grandson of veteran director Ramanand Sagar. Amrit studied film with a four-year degree course at the College of Arts and Craft, California. "Though I went to film school,I believe that cinema is something that has to be in-born. Film school only teaches you to be intellectual, not creative.""I did some work for television," Amrit says. "I directed Aankhen, Hatim, and Hotel Kingston. While most people would choose to make their debut with a romance or bubblegum film, Amrit has chosen the gritty stage of war to announce his arrival."This is a film that had to be made. And film is a strong medium with which to pass on a message. After I wrote the film, I met the families and realised this is a huge humanitarian problem." Amrit admits it was physically a tough shoot as shooting happened in peak winter at Manali. Amrit says there was no trouble with the censors as "the film is backed by hard facts. We went to great trouble to keep the authenticity. The film is set in 1977 and we even got a Pakistani chopper from that era!"Amrit is a staunch believer in keeping it simple. "I am all for narrating a ripping good yarn and I will not use crazy camera angles just because I can. My shot taking is driven by the story." While 1971 is a prisoner of war film, Amrit insists: "The film is not jingoistic. I think our generation is over that stuff. You know every director has a different treatment and I do not believe in jingoism so there."And what next for Mr. Sagar? "My next project is a love story. And no, it is not a candyfloss romance. Karan (Johar) is there for that! I am not dismissing that kind of cinema. It is just that I can only make the films I believe in."Amrit has his life all planned out. "I would like to retire when I am 60. I am a Sagittarian, and my symbol is the archer right? So I can only concentrate on one thing at a time. I would like to make films in different genres so that when I retire I can sit back and say `I made this, this and this."





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