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Interview with Buddhadev Das Gupta
Date: July 16, 2007, Hyderabad
Buddhadev Dasgupta

Buddhadev Dasgupta is a prominent poet and a contemporary film maker who won several awards in international arena. His list of famous films includes Uttara, Character and Bagh Bahadur. He is in Hyderabad to attend Chitra Yatra film festival. met him for a chat. Here are the excerpts -

Why do you make art films?
I don't differentiate between an art and commercial cinema. I am doing films which I am comfortable with. I don't believe in branding cinema into art or commercial.

After Satyajit Ray, you seem to be the one director winning several international awards?
Though it is pleasing to know, I am of the opinion that we should not judge the directors by the number of awards they won. Some great filmmakers never won any awards. Finally it is the creation that matters.

Why Bengali's make most of the art films in India?
Of course, but at the same time Bengal is also producing many numbers of mediocre films which are pure imitations of Bollywood counterparts. So, Bengali film industry also produces same amount of bad films like any other film industry.

What is your current project?
I am doing a film titled 'The Voyeur' with Sameera Reddy playing the main lead. This film deals with voyeurism and the after effects.

Sameera Reddy is more known for her glamour. How did she fit in your film?
This is my second film with her. Sameera Reddy is a sensible actress who can do wonders if she gets a good script. But unfortunately, she is branded as an item girl in Bollywood.

What is your take on Chitra Yatra?
The organizers are doing something great to create awareness about great films among the common movie lovers. It introduces films of different languages to the movie lovers. Indian film industry is in the period of transition and it needs the support of audiences.

Tell us one film which created lasting impression on you in the last five years?
It is Postman. It is the debut film of that director but he handled the film splendidly. It is a naturally made film on love, poetry and upliftment of a person. This film makes you aware of yourself and the life centered around you.

What are your hobbies?
I am a well known poet before entering into films. I recently released the 11th collection of my poems. I love sitting idle and would like to be myself. I prefer taking hibernation in between because, it gives me an opportunity to comeback with renewed energy and passion for my upcoming projects.

What do you think of present film industry?
There are fake realities in our Indian films. The mediocrity should go. We need new talent, new blood and new imaginative people.

I would like to give an example of the film 'Marana Simhasanam' made by Murali Nair. He had to face lot of troubles while making that film. But it became a major success internationally. There is something new in that film that could be understood by international audiences and at the same time content is very much local.

Is it possible to recover money for a film which did not run locally?
Yes. It is possible. Audiences may not be local. But there will be audiences for all good films somewhere. You have to locate them and go there to make money.

Which parts of the world your films are screened mostly?
Its Europe and USA.

Is there any influence of noted filmmakers on you?
No. I retain originality in my films. A good music might inspire you to write good poetry. A good poem might inspire you to come up with a good scene. That kind of influences are natural. But I do not get influenced by any films.

How do you find Hyderabad city?
I am little familiar with Telugu because my father can speak Telugu. I spent most of my schooling in Kharagpur where there are lots of Telugu people around. I love this place when I come to Hyderabad. There is serenity. The people are good. There are very good painters and poets from Hyderabad. It is a culturally vibrant and peaceful city. But it is little bit congested when it comes to traffic though it is lot better compared to Kolkota.

Do you have any suggestion for the aspiring filmmakers?
Moviemaking is a creative work. If you limit your imagination, you end up being mediocre. You will not do something spectacular if you don't cross the barrier of mediocrity.

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