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The test of time

NIKHIL VARMA
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Actor-director Amole Gupte says that a good film is talked about even years after its release, unlike commercial potboilers

Stories of the heartFrom Amole GuptePhoto: G.P. Sampath Kumar
Stories of the heartFrom Amole GuptePhoto: G.P. Sampath Kumar

“Good movies survive the test of time and are talked about by movie lovers, years after their release. No one remembers the money a Mother India or a Sholay made. In the long run, they often manage to dwarf the ventures that made more money. I like films that have a recall value more than those that are mere commercial potboilers,” says Amole Gupte, who handles straddles roles such as writer, actor and director. His last directorial project, Stanley Ka Dabba won critical acclaim.

What’s next?

Of his next directorial venture , Hawaa Hawaai , he says, “Every film I make is different. Filmmaking is an art form. You cannot repeat the same painting again and again. This holds true for movies as well. Hawaa Hawaai is different from my earlier films. It talks about the human spirit, the rush to achieve goals and the aspirations of the have-nots in society. It is a story about children with an adult perspective thrown in. It deals with the values education brings to a person’s life. It is a movie that has a powerful message. We used child actors and skating professionals in this film. I had a great time working on it. It is a universal movie.”

Amole talks about the need to ensure that more and more youngsters learn about world cinema. “We conduct workshops in municipal schools and teach children the basics of filmmaking. Some of my students have made great strides and have directed small feature films. I think that some of the best stories come from the less privileged sections of society.”

About one of the success stories from the workshops, he says: “Ashish Gaikwad lost his father, a municipal sweeper, when he was an infant. He used to work and clean the streets with his mother. He used my studio to make a short film, Tahaan . I was presented the movie as a birthday gift. I loved it and took it to many fests.”

Care for the child

In his role as the chairman of Children’s Film Society of India, Amole is serious about getting more rights for child artistes. “Child artistes are the last priority for producers when planning a schedule. They are forced to work for long hours and are not given proper food. This must change. Certain rules must be followed to ensure that exploitation does not happen.”

NIKHIL VARMA

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