Cannes shows Bollywood has huge market abroad: Anurag Kashyap (Interview)

By Ruchika Kher

Mumbai, July 13 (IANS) There's a huge market abroad that is open to Indian films and it's not just non-resident Indians (NRIs), says Anurag Kashyap whose production "Udaan" was screened at the Cannes film festival.

He also dismisses speculation that he has always wanted only Aamir Khan in his next directorial venture.

"Cannes was a big learning experience for me. After going there, I realised that the film market is so huge. I also realised that we should not think that only the NRI audience will see our films abroad that we make our films accordingly. There are many other markets out there that are open to Indian films," Kashyap told IANS in an interview.

Kashyap's "Udaan" was shown in the Un Certain Regard section at Cannes this year. Directed by Vikramaditya Motwane, it is the coming-of-age story of a teenaged boy who returns to his hometown of Jamshedpur, Jharkhand, after being left at a boarding school for eight years by his father.

Starring Ronit Roy and Rajat Barmecha in the main leads, "Udaan" is slated to hit the Indian screens July 16.

When asked why he decided to produce it, Kashyap said: "I loved the script a lot. I had told Vikram if no one produces it, you come to me, I will do so.

I finally did it."

So now when he has tried both - direction and production - what does he enjoy more? "Any day direction. That's my passion. In fact, if I had a chance, I would have directed 'Udaan' too, but Vikram didn't leave the film," he said.

Anurag started his career as a screenwriter and then wielded the megaphone for the hard-hitting drama "Black Friday" (2004) and the thriller "No Smoking" (2007).

But it was with the critically and commercially acclaimed "Dev D" (2009) that he got his due in the industry. The Abhay Deol-starrer turned out to be a big draw at the box office.

There has been much speculation about "Bombay Velvet", to be directed by Kashyap and produced by Danny Boyle. It was reported that Shah Rukh Khan and Aamir were being considered for the film, but the former was not approached after he refused a role in Boyle's Oscar-winning "Slumdog Millionaire".

However, Kashyap has a different story to tell.

"Danny and I had only thought about Aamir for the role and no one else. We have not done the narration yet but I'm hoping that Aamir will like the film and will say yes. No one else was being approached for the film," the director clarified.

Kashyap, who had to struggle a lot to find a firm foothold in showbiz, wants to produce films and provide opportunities for budding talents.

"I would like to give new talent a chance to showcase their skills. I know how difficult it is to enter and then survive in this industry. I struggled for 17 years and then finally got recognition. So I want to help others," he said.

As far as his future projects are concerned, Kashyap is making a gangster movie set in Bihar. He has already finished "That Girl In Yellow Boots". Starring Kalki Koechlin and Naseeruddin Shah, the film will release by the end of this year.

As a producer, he has his plate full with Sachin Kundalkar's debut Hindi film, Rahi Anil Barve's "Tumbaad" and Motwane's next.

(Ruchika Kher can be contacted at ruchika.k@ians.in)

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