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Anurag Kashyap: It's a great year for Indian cinema

Last updated on: May 7, 2012 17:19 IST

Anurag Kashyap: It's a great year for Indian cinema

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Patcy N in Mumbai
Anurag Kashyap is elated that three of his films are going to the prestigious Cannes film festival this year.
 
While his latest directorial venture -- Gangs of Wasseypur, part one and two-- will be showcased at the Cannes Directors' Fortnight, a short film he produced -- Peddlers -- will premiere at the Cannes Critic Week. 

At the trailer launch of Gangs of Wasseypur, Anurag spoke to Patcy N about preparing for his big moment at Cannes and his films.

Here, we bring the first part of a two-part interview.

What was your reaction when you came to know that your film was selected for Cannes?

It feels great that three of my films are going to Cannes. First, Vasan's (Vasan Bala, director of Peddlers) film was announced and then my films were announced the next day.

It was great, I was ecstatic, people were popping champagne and I was drinking diet coke.

You think it was well deserved?

We have been in a very happy space since the last two to three years. We are doing what we want to do and people are allowing us to do what we want to do and they are funding us too. They are enjoying it and nobody's losing money. What more can we ask for?

Image: A scene from Gangs of Wasseypur


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'I have to explain to them that Bollywood is integral to our culture'

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Can you throw some light on the selection process at Cannes?

You have to send the film, fill the form and show the film to the selection committee. Their scouts travel all around the world to see all the films. 

They came here last October and told me just two days before the announcement that our film was selected.

When do you leave for Cannes? Have you made any preparations?

We leave on May 17. There is a debate on Indian Cinema and there are a whole lot of other activities happening, but we don't yet know what. 

From our end we are preparing, as we are representing our country, and we have to talk about the cinema that is coming out of our country. 

I have to explain Bollywood to them and how it is very integral to our culture; without Bollywood our culture reduces. They ask questions about the type of movies we make and why we make such movies. Every time you go there you have to explain all this. 

It's a very self-sufficient market. It does not need to go out to sell a ticket to sustain it.

Image: A scene from Gangs of Wasseypur


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'We need films like Housefull 2 to do really well'

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What about your third film that is going to Cannes?

Peddlers is made under our production AKFPL (Anurag Kashyap Film Private Limited). Guneet Monga is the producer of the film and it is directed by Vasan Bala. 

Peddlers has been selected to premiere at the Cannes Critic Week. 

It is an extraordinary film, a thriller with a new voice. It's about lives that are in limbo, people who have lost out and are called social outcasts. 

Do you think Indian cinema is changing?

It is a great year for Indian cinema where films like Paan Singh Tomar, Kahaani, Vicky Donor and even Hate Story did good business.

It is not necessary to have stars in a film; the subject matter is the star of the film. It is a huge thing that all kinds of cinema is being made in India today. 

I'm not saying that films like Housefull should not be made -- in fact we need films like Housefull 2 to do really well because with the profit of such movies we can make our kind of films. 

The greater thing is that my kind of film is also doing well these days, which is huge.

You think audiences today are open-minded?

No, some audiences are not open-minded even today, but now there are all kinds of audiences.

Image: A scene from Gangs of Wasseypur


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'I am a big supporter of courage'

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Vidya Balan got a National Award. Do you think it was the right choice?

Awards say a lot about the jury, so I am no one to say whether she is the right choice or not.

I think Vidya should be given an award just like that for her choice of films. Have other actresses got the confidence to come out of their comfort zone and act in different kinds of films?

I am a big supporter of courage. Anybody who shows courage should be rewarded. The box office is rewarding her and the country is applauding her so I am happy for Vidya Balan.

Have you ever thought of casting her in a film?

I have thought about casting her many times and we have talked about ideas, but it has to be the right thing because people have certain expectations from her. 

I can't take a film to her unless the film is on her.

Image: Anurag Kashyap and director Anusha Rizvi at the 64th Annual Cannes Film Festival
Photographs: Michael Buckner/Getty Images

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'Nawazuddin (Siddiqui) is our star of the year'

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Nawazuddin Siddiqui, the actor in Gangs of Wasseypur and earlier in your Black Friday is also going to Cannes with Miss Lovely?

Nawazuddin is our star of this year. There are some really nice films that he's done that are worth watching and will be releasing back-to-back. You will see him in Talaash too.

Nawazuddin is an extraordinary actor. He is very understated and fits into any role. I can do a lot with him as he can blend into anything. He is very believable and has a vey beautiful face. His eyes are the most beautiful.

People say he is the next Irrfan Khan...

I completely agree with that. He is the first Nawazuddin.

Image: Nawazuddin Siddiqui in Miss Lovely
Photographs: Michael Buckner/Getty Images

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