Posts tagged dibakar banerjee
Award-winning director Zoya Akhtar on helming a short film shot on a shoe-string budget
Anita Britto (MID-DAY; May 5, 2013)
What does the Indian films’ centenary mean to you? Cinema is the most defining form of entertainment in India. This country has been making films for 100 years! And somewhere it feels very good to be present and slightly relevant in its centenary year.
So how did you decide to be part of a film, Bombay Talkies, that commemorates the centenary? I was having dinner with Anurag (Kashyap) and Dibakar (Banerjee) at the former’s house and they were discussing this project which would have four short films helmed by four different directors. I had just finished Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara and I had nothing to do. I promptly said that I wanted to be part of this project too. Ashi Dua (who is the producer) told me that I could make what I wanted as long as the film was 25 minutes long and made within a budget of a crore and a half.
Having helmed star-studded ventures like Luck By Chance and Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara, were you comfortable working in a limited budget of Rs 1.5 crore? It was exciting and challenging. Immediately, I thought of a ready script that I had for a short film, Zoom Zoom Yaara, about a little boy who dances to Hindi songs.
Usually it’s tough to work with children as one needs to understand their needs and temperament. How was your experience? The two children in my film, Naman Jain and Khushi Dubey, are possibly the best professional More >
Sandip Ray pays a tribute to Satyajit Ray on his 92nd birth anniversary (May 2)
Subhash K Jha (DNA; May 3, 2013)
I remember him as an affectionate and caring father, though the onus of bringing me up, taking care of all my day-to-day requirements fell entirely on my mother. She looked after my school, my homework while my father was busy making movies though he did care a lot about what went on in my life. He was definitely a family man. He always wanted us to be near him. He’d plan his outdoor shootings around my school holidays, so my mother and I could be with him. More than the chance to be with my father these vacations became an opportunity for me to imbibe his filmmaking acumen. I guess I began observing the ‘master’ at work at a time when other children are only bothered with games and homework. My three mandatory school holidays during my growing years — the summer, winter and Durga Pooja — were devoted to watching my father shoot his great works. I was there during the shooting of his film Pather Panchali though too young to understand what was happening. No one knew it would become such a classic. We all looked at the shooting as a picnic. We knew he was working on something different. But we were all more enamoured by the wonderful rural Bengali outdoors. I can still remember the hut where the film was shot and that railway track with the steam engine chugging on it. They don’t make steam engines or movies like Pather Panchali (1955) any more. I also remember More >
Dibakar Banerjee confesses how his childhood habit of sharing made-up stories with others resonates with the passion he shares for filmmaking today
Shakti Shetty (MID-DAY; April 28, 2013)
To celebrate the completion of 100 years of Indian cinema, four Hindi filmmakers have teamed up to create four separate short films grouped into one feature film titled Bombay Talkies. Dibakar Banerjee is one of the directors. Made at a modest budget of Rs 1.5 crore, his segment is an adaptation of Satyajit Ray’s short story with a Maharashtrian twist. In a freewheeling chat with us, the 43-year-old filmmaker reveals his thoughts on diverse genres of cinema and the major influences in his life…
As a filmmaker, what drives you? (Pauses) As far as I can remember, I’ve wanted to make films since the age of 14. I only wanted to direct. I never wanted to be the hero. I think my passion to tell stories is what drives me. I used to fib a lot, cook up stories just to entertain people around me. I remember narrating several versions of Sholay to those who had already seen it!
Do you feel the pressure to do something hatke every single time you get down to work? I never felt that pressure to do something different because if you’re yourself — which I usually am — you will ultimately be different. Nobody on this planet is the same. Take Bombay Talkies for example. Karan Johar is as different as me or Anurag Kashyap or Zoya Akhtar are. If you make your film from your heart, there shouldn’t be any More >
Shakti Shetty (MID-DAY; April 27, 2013)
Some actors fade away from our vision but remain etched in our memories thanks to their past performances.
Sadashiv Amrapurkar is definitely one of those. The veteran actor who laughs at rumours about him suffering a heart attack is upbeat about his role in Bombay Talkies. He also rues that the actor in him is still waiting for the perfect role. In a tête-à-tête, the 62-year-old recluse admits to having no filmi friends and shares his views on several topics ranging from career to cinema.
How did Bombay Talkies happen? The project’s assistant director approached me saying that Dibakar Banerjee was interested in casting me for his short film. And I was like “Who?”… I hadn’t even heard of Dibakar! At that point, my daughter told me about him and his work and made sure I agreed.
You’ve been away from the limelight for a long while now. Don’t you miss Bollywood? Why should I? I’ve never said that I’m retired or don’t want to do films anymore. Just that the roles that come to me are often repetitive in nature and I’m brave enough to refuse them. Earlier, when I started my career at the age of 32, I wanted to do films to get recognised. Once I established myself as an actor, it was about making money for family. But now things are different. As you grow older, your priorities change.
But you’ve been quite active on the Marathi theatre front… That’s because plays are my passion. And speaking of Marathi theatre, there are artistes out there More >
28-year-old Ashi Dua is the producer behind the series of short films that will mark the 100 years of Indian cinema
Shakti Shetty (MID-DAY; April 20, 2013)
She’s 28 and certainly one of India’s youngest film producers around. But what Ashi Dua lacks in age she seems to have made up with her confidence. After all, she is the producer of the forthcoming four-short-films feature titled Bombay Talkies.
Apparently, getting different filmmakers like Anurag Kashyap, Dibakar Banerjee, Zoya Akhtar and Karan Johar together for her project was as big a challenge as the required finance.
“I just went to these directors thinking they might not take me seriously but they did and all of them were more than ready to pitch in with their time and effort. Once they agreed, the second obstacle was the budget. That’s when Viacom18’s Vikram Malhotra entered the scene and solved the problem for us,” adds the debutante producer.
After releasing in India, the film will be screened at the Cannes Film Festival next month. Needless to mention, Ashi is more than excited. “I went to Paris last month to submit our film to the jury at Cannes. On Thursday, we got the confirmation that it will be having a special gala screening to commemorate the completion of 100 year of Indian cinema. On May 19, there will be a red carpet event for my directors too,” gushes the Bandra girl.
Shubha Shetty (MUMBAI MIRROR; April 19, 2013)
By now we know that each segment of Bombay Talkies, a collection of four shorts to mark 100 years of Indian cinema, has some sort of a star presence.
While Karan Johar has Rani Mukerji and Randeep Hooda, Anurag Kashyap has a towering presence of Amitabh Bachchan and Zoya Akhtar has Katrina Kaif playing a fairy. That leaves out Dibakar Banerjee, who initially had planned to rope in Ranbir Kapoor for his film.
Said to have Nawazuddin, a common man, who watches a star shooting for a film, the film was supposed to have Ranbir in a special appearance play himself. Dibakar, we hear had requested Ranbir to devote just an hour for his film and the busy actor had promised to do so. Bit somehow, things did not quite pan out the way they had planned and Ranbir excused himself.
Confirming this, Dibakar said: “We needed Ranbir for about an hour’s shoot. When you watch the film you will know how important he is to the film which is about a superstar and the kind of fan following he enjoys. We needed Ranbir for 30 seconds of screen time which would have taken just about one hour to shoot. Ranbir was very kicked about doing it and it was nice to see him get excited about that bit role.”
When asked how he managed to do without the actual star, Dibakar said mischievously: “Watch the film to find out.”
BOMBAY TIMES (April 19, 2013)
Bombay Talkies, the anthology of four short films that celebrates 100 years of Indian cinema, is the official Indian selection for the main screening at the 66th Cannes Film Festival. The film will be screened on May 19. This is the second time in a row that a film by Viacom18 Motion Pictures has been chosen; last year it was Anurag Kashyap’s Gangs Of Wasseypur. The directors react:
KARAN JOHAR: Extremely honoured that our omnibus endeavour has been officially selected at Cannes. Can’t wait to walk the red carpet with Dibakar, Anurag and Zoya.
ZOYA AKHTAR: I’ve never been to Cannes and always felt if I go there, it should be with a film. Things worked out even better as it’s not just a film, but also my three friends who will be with me.
DIBAKAR BANERJEE: I’m thrilled to walk the red carpet and also to get an opportunity to represent Indian cinema.
ANURAG KASHYAP: I am so happy our film is being screened at Cannes. Happy to be back there.
Bombay Talkies, produced by Viacom18 Motion Pictures and Flying Unicorn Entertainment, releases May 3.
Karan Johar feels making silly errors are a part of filmmaking and why critics are almost always right!
Shakti Shetty (MID-DAY; April 19, 2013)
Karan Johar is famously known for never mincing his words when it comes to speaking out on his film projects. While his last directorial venture released back in 2012, the flamboyant filmmaker is looking forward to producing six films under his banner soon. While in the past he may have put many of his talk show guests in the hot seat, Karan keeps absolute calm while answering to questions about the evolving trends in Indian cinema, working within a budget and dealing with criticism.
Indian cinema is completing a century. What are the changes you’ve observed over the years? Well, a century is a long time but I can definitely say that the last decade was very exciting. In fact, this year itself has been interesting. We’re moving towards this golden age where reality is depicted without compromising on the entertainment factor.
And what about the so-called outsiders creating a niche for themselves? It’s a healthy sign. The level of nepotism has evidently gone down with non- filmi people establishing themselves in the Hindi film fraternity. We don’t have to look beyond Anurag (Kashyap) and Dibakar (Banerjee) to see how filmmaking is no more dynastic. The same is true about several actors making a special place for themselves based solely on their talent.
What do you enjoy more — producing or directing? Producing is a perk I get as a More >
Dibakar Banerjee says he strives to tell an original story and entertain his audience
Soumyadipta Banerjee (MUMBAI MIRROR; April 15, 2013)
Even after two National Awards, Dibakar Banerjee suffers from intense insecurity when it comes to filmmaking. In a freewheeling chat with Mumbai Mirror, Dibakar talks about his genre of films, 100 years of Indian cinema and the challenge of adapting Satyajit Ray’s short story for big screen.
You are a National Award-winning director and yet you say you are insecure as a filmmaker. How’s that possible? I have won not one but two National Awards. But I still have all the insecurities that I had on day one. I used to break into cold sweat thinking that nobody would put money into my next film. I still suffer from that same insecurity. I guess I hardly let my guards down. But, I have not let anything distract me from my core values of filmmaking.
Talking about budgets, we heard you have completed your film for Bombay Talkies on a shoestring budget… Yes, my film is made on a 1.5 crore budget, which Karan (Johar) famously told me is the cost of one lehnga in his film!
How did you manage to do it? Exactly the way any struggling filmmaker would do, the way we used to operate when we started off. I have shot in my own house. I just had a 14-member crew expert in documentary filmmaking. In most cases we have used our own resources.
Your film in Bombay Talkies is an adaptation of Satyajit Ray’s short story Patol Babu Film Star. How difficult More >
Kunal M Shah (MID-DAY; April 1, 2013)
In the day and age when raunchy item numbers rule the roost in Bollywood, Dibakar Banerjee is thinking thoda hatke. Going against the trend of having dance numbers, Dibakar, who is known for his risk- taking image in the industry, has instead opted to go experimental with the music in his next.
Our source says, “The director has done a short film for the first time with Bombay Talkies and he has used authentic music from both the East as well as the West. He has gone for Rabindratnath Tagore’s music and classic compositions by Chopin. Two different schools of music are coming together for the first time in an Indian film.”