SUNDAY MAGAZINE

Nurturing the future

SUCHITRA BEHAL

Not one to be left behind, director Karan Johar is all set to “train” a batch of “talented first-timers” who, he feels, can make it big. Said Johar, “I have my own little Whistling Woods right here in my production studio. I am keen to encourage new age cinema and my aim is to establish an academy of directors who will make not just one movie with us, but will stay on.” Of course he’s realistic enough to realise that a few may want to leave once they learn the ropes. “I’ll tear up the contract but one must appreciate legalities; those are important,” said he. While Johar has always tried to nurture new talent, he is equally vocal that when the new directors go on set, “they take with them their own energy and spirit. And that is what I need to exploit.” Johar adds that though these are children from a filmi background, they have been witness to “ups and downs and they value the opportunities that they get”.

Stage presence

For her, “it’s like a new beginning”. Actor Shabana Azmi, who hits the stage after a long hiatus, claims that “it has been overwhelming to see the response to ‘Tumhari Amrita.” Azmi believes that adapting the play to screen may not work because it will lose its “theatrical input”. She believes that, despite all that cinema has given her, theatre is a class apart. However, she says, the current crop of filmmakers are revolutionary. “Even with limited budgets, they are making interesting films. In my time it was few and far between, now a whole lot of people are ready to take a risk.”

Though Azmi did not name any film, she felt that there had been a positive shift in the way film makers worked. Meanwhile she is looking forward to her role in Deepa Mehta’s film and another release with Sunjay Dutt. Query her on her role, Azmi grins, “Wait and watch.”