Breaking the walls

AFTER ANSWERING his "Bollywood Calling", Nagesh Kukunoor has shifted his gaze westward. Attempting to form links with distributors abroad, the director is determined to break through the "Three Walls'' of Indian cinema to find an opening elsewhere.

Working towards forming foreign alliances to market his films, it might be tougher for him to get appointments abroad, but Nagesh seems to enjoy the anonymity. "I have the best of both worlds. I get to unwind there; it is like one big picnic. It does get frustrating at times because I have to send them my previous work to get an appointment. But then it is a chance to live a normal life,'' he says.

A slice of "real" life, walking down the street without being recognised is something that probably keeps Nagesh grounded. Coming a long way from the "Hyderabad Blues'' days, a film that did not fit into any conventional slot, he has found that being offbeat is also a label that sticks.

"Unlike my last few films which were comedies, "Teen Deewarein" does not fit into any slot. In "Hyderabad Blues", Shringar Films had taken a calculated risk, they had a two-week release and were running one show. They depended on word of mouth and the film was sold out. But this film is different. They don't know how many shows to have,'' he remarks.

Tackling the pressures of fame, Nagesh claims that he never imagined that his first film would ever make the impact it did. The beginning of the "desi" films on the silver screen, the success of his first film was more by accident. "It is one of those things that enforced my faith in doing what you wanted to do. I always knew at the back of my mind that I would eventually shift to cinema, but like most middle-class people in a profession you never question what you really want. It was always at the back of the mind. When I was making "Hyderabad Blues" I was not trying to prove anything so I made it exactly the way I wanted," he says. A lesson well learnt, he is determined apply it to every movie.

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