By Ruchika Kher
Mumbai, April 22 (IANS) There is no dearth of talented directors in Bollywood but they get wasted because producers are busy chasing established names, says filmmaker Anurag Kashyap who had struggled a lot to release his first film "Black Friday".
"This industry only follows what you have done before. It goes by your previous box office record and that's why the industry is in such a sad state. As far as I'm concerned, I just like to nurture people. I'll back people I feel have potential," Kashyap, 38, told IANS in an interview.
As a producer, he has worked with many newcomers like Vikramaditya Motwane of "Udaan" fame and Bijoy Nambiar, who debuts with "Shaitan".
"I was really fortunate that the industry didn't pass Bijoy's film and ultimately it came to me. But it's unfortunate that the whole industry couldn't see a brilliant idea in a great filmmaker and that's why a lot of good filmmakers with good ideas get wasted here. I didn't need to think twice to do this film ('Shaitan')," said Kashyap.
Is he making films with debutant directors to help them?
"I have not helped them; in fact, they have helped me. Looking at things from my perspective, I feel they have given me a chance to earn credibility from their films and I've got the power to continue making such films (about 1993 Mumbai blasts).
"It's sad for the industry as it cannot see a Vikramaditya Motwane before 'Udaan' or a Bijoy before 'Shaitan'," said the director.
"Udaan", which Kashyap produced, not only triumphed at all the awards functions in the country, it was also screened at the 2010 Cannes International Film Festival in the Un Certain Regard section and became the first film to represent India in the prestigeous fest's official section in the last seven years.
He describes his next production venture "Shaitan" as "A David Fincher kind of movie, set in Mumbai, made by an Indian".
" 'Shaitan' is a film that deals with a group of five rich kids. They have access to money, are from affluent backgrounds, but they don't do anything, so they experiment with life like a lot of kids of this generation. Then comes that one moment that really turns around their lives," he said.
The film that is slated for a June release stars Rajeev Khandelwal and Kashyap's actress girlfriend Kalki Koechlin. In the initial stage, Arshad Warsi was supposed to play the lead role.
"Bijoy used to come home to meet Kalki to discuss her role and at that time it was meant to have Arshad Warsi and some more people. It was a far bigger project and somebody else was producing it.
"But I realised that the film is not moving for almost two years. So I told Bijoy 'if things are not working out, let me know, I'll produce it, it's just that I can't do it on a big budget'. So it started with that and one day he came and said I would like you to produce my film," said Kashyap, who has directed "Dev D" and "Gulaal".
Even though "Udaan" fetched loads of awards and critical appreciation, Kashyap feels "Shaitan" is a notch better than that.
"For me, when I saw 'Udaan', I felt that it's better than most of my films, and now I feel the same about 'Shaitan'. I think everyone will like this film. I'm extremely proud of it," he said.
(Ruchika Kher can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)