Ritesh Batra: It is a matter of time..

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By HT

Mumbai, March 3 -- Ritesh Batra's debut movie, The Lunchbox (2013), travelled to film festivals around the world. It was also one of the highest-grossing Bollywood projects in the overseas market.

Now, his second film, an adaptation of Julian Barnes's Booker Prize-winning novel, The Sense Of An Ending, has already been sold in more than 20 countries, from Italy and Portugal to Australia and South Korea.

Ritesh says, "I believe it is a matter of time before we make Indian stories with Indian actors, which will travel as much, if not more than English films."

Ask him if he was surprised with the kind of buzz his second film, which stars Oscar-nominated Charlotte Rampling and Oscar winner Jim Broadbent, has generated, and he says, "It is an encouraging sign. When you make something, you want more and more people to see it. The film has an amazing cast. But when people come to watch the movie, it is because they have seen portions or rushes of it, and my previous work."

The director also believes that like his first film, more Indian projects need to be sold across the globe.

"The Lunchbox was one of the highest-grossing films in America. We need the same thing to happen with most of our Indian movies. When someone switches on the TV, an Indian film should be running, or when he or she goes to the theatre, an Indian movie should be playing there. Only then will we be able to create alternatives for the audience, spread our stories and create new markets."

Lately, several Indian artistes, from Priyanka Chopra to Deepika Padukone, have bagged international projects. Irrfan Khan, on the other hand, is already an established name in Hollywood.

Do these developments make this the right time for a director to go abroad and work? Ritesh says, "It is all about the film that you are making. If it is something that people can connect with, your work is done. Your nationality does not matter."

Because the director has regularly been travelling between New York (USA) and London (UK) for his upcoming film, he hasn't had the chance to watch the latest Bollywood releases. "I have been meaning to watch Nimrat Kaur's latest film, Airlift, but I haven't got the time. Before that, I saw Piku (2015), and I loved Deepika and Irrfan in it.