Film companion directors roundtable

As part of Film Companion’s list of the 25 Greatest Hindi Films Of The Decade, a number of the directors behind those films joined Anupama Chopra to discuss what went into creating defining movies and explore the last decade of their filmmaking journeys. As part of the discussion, directors Maneesh Sharma (Band Baaja Baaraat), Zoya Akhtar (Gully Boy), Sriram Raghavan (Andhadhun), Anurag Kashyap (Gangs Of Wasseypur), Shoojit Sircar (Piku) and Shakun Batra (Kapoor And Sons) were asked what the future holds.

Edited Excerpt:

What are your ambitions for the next 10 years? What is the next decade looking like?

Maneesh Sharma: I just want to wake up every morning thinking about a film. That’s all I want to do. And I think it has happened so far, touch wood, and I hope it continues. You just want to wake up and be working on one film at least.

Sriram Raghavan: Just be a little more prolific and learn from these two guys sitting in front of me (points to Anurag Kashyap and Maneesh Sharma). Because that’s the thing – sometimes you just wait and take your own time. Kamal once Hassan had told me “You have found the secret na, so you don’t have any worry” I asked, “What secret?” He said, “You are living for 300 years. That is why you are taking 3 years. Pachas saal main ek movie.” So it’s just that. Just try and be prolific.

Shoojit Sircar: I actually want a perfect scenario where I can make political films and name politicians like the West does. Even the President, Prime Minister, White House, CBI or the CIA, anyone. With the right freedom of expression, I can make those films in the future. I think India needs that. We have not made political films yet where we have been absolutely true to ourselves, so I think I would want that in the next 10 years. I tried with Madras Cafe, but I couldn’t name anyone. Though I didn’t imagine that in a country like this I would be able to make Madras Cafe but I’d still want to make that film naming people.

Zoya Akhtar: I have started a company with Reema (Kagti) called Tiger Baby. So the next 10 years would be developing and growing that. I think we want to work in every medium. I definitely want to push female voices and be able to have an identity in that sense, for women and their stories to come out. And I think for myself, I want to make a near-perfect film. I want to make one film that I see and be like ‘I wouldn’t change a thing’. Now whether anyone else likes it or not but I wouldn’t change a thing. One film in your filmography should be perfect. Just that one film, where I feel like I didn’t screw it up.

Shakun Batra: They’ve all said such smart things. I’m still figuring out where I can pitch in where it doesn’t sound stupid! If I could survive 10 years with the kind of stuff that I would like to do, I would be very happy. I think at this point I’m very new and insignificant to change the bigger picture. I really just want to make films that I would like to make.

Anurag Kashyap: Me? No. I’ve been working non-stop. I have 200 films on my IMDb. I need a holiday. I think I need to take one year off. At some point, I want to take a year off and do something else and then come back. I am packed for like 4 years so that’s why I need a break.

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