Wednesday November 20, 2019

Nandita Das Says “Manto” Was Most Challenging Yet Interesting Journey

It took me four years to research and write the script

0
//
Nandita Das Says
Nandita Das Says "Manto" Was Most Challenging Yet Interesting Journey, Flickr

Acclaimed actress and filmmaker Nandita Das says making “Manto” was a most challenging yet interesting journey.

“It has been the most challenging journey for me, but probably the most interesting one too. This by far has been the biggest learning curve for me. There were challenges I faced at almost every step of the process,” Nandita told IANS in an email interview.

“It took me four years to research and write the script and two years to get funding, cast, crew, locations and all the preparation to shoot and get the film out. The genesis of the idea of the film was in 2012, Manto’s centenary celebration, and now it finally premiered in Cannes.”

After having helmed “Firaaq” in 2008, Nandita went behind the camera to trace the life of writer Saadat Hasan Manto, to be portrayed by Nawazuddin Siddiqui in the film, expected to release in India in September.

Manto, who died in 1955 at the age of 43, penned an impressive body of work touching various genres.

He churned out about 22 collections of stories comprising a novel, essays, personal sketches and movie scripts. Out of his literary gems was a story on Mirza Ghalib, a poet who is often compared with the stature of Shakespeare. His work also gained attention for weaving stories around the ordeal of partition as well as sexuality. The film provides a window into his life during the tumultuous partitioning of British colonial India into two new nations — India and Pakistan.

“Manto”, co-produced by HP Studios, Filmstoc and Viacom 18 Motion Pictures, was the only Indian film in Un Certain Regard category at the 71st Cannes Film Festival. It will also be screened at Sydney Film Festival, which started on June 6 and will go on till June 17.

Nandita says she was “deeply involved with every department and have learnt so much in the process”.

Nandita Das
Nandita Das, flickr

“After all I never went to a film school or assisted any director so everything was being learnt on the job and I was relying mostly on my creative instinct and life experiences.”

On her experience at the fest, she said: “I have been attending Cannes since I was invited in the main jury in 2005. Then again in 2013 in the short film jury. Including more recently, to raise funds for ‘Manto’.

“Other than these two opportunities, I have been there several times as a film lover. Apart from it being the most celebrated festival, it truly manages to combine great cinema and a thriving platform for filmmakers and film lovers from all over the world. While you of course wish your film to be premiered in Cannes, one is aware that every filmmaker wishes that too. The competition is extremely fierce. And ‘Manto’ is not a typical “festival film”.

Also read: BBC Bollywood dark secret nothing

“The references and context is not always easy for foreigners to understand. I di’n’t know till the day they officially announced the list. It was the only Indian film in the main official sections and so it is a huge honour. I am most delighted that ‘Manto’ has started its journey in Cannes.” (IANS)

 

Next Story

Acid Attack Is One Of The Most Heinous Crimes: Vikrant Massey

Actor Vikrant Massey feels that we are not doing enough to stop acid attacks

0
Vikrant Massey
Actor Vikrant Massey will be starring in "Chhapaak". Wikimedia Commons

BY ARUNDHUTI BANERJEE

Bollywood actor Vikrant Massey plays a pivotal role in the Deepika Padukone-starrer “Chhapaak”, which is based on the real-life story of acid attack survivor Laxmi Agarwal.

Pointing out how most of his choices reflect his opinion, Vikrant told IANS: “I won’t associate myself with any project that I do not believe in. I strongly believe that an acid attack is one of the most heinous crimes in the world, so if we are talking about a progressive society where we are trying to create an environment of parity for all genders, it is a shame that we are yet to eradicate a crime like an acid attack. The report says that in India, most of the cases are of jilted lovers. When a girl rejects the proposal of a boy, the boy throws acid on her face!”opi

After a pause that clearly signals outrage, he added: “No one has the right to ruin someone’s life like that!”

“We are a developing country and we are sending Chandrayaan to the moon, and showing the world how we are progressing! Yet we are, at the same time, still living with a criminal practice like acid attack! We all know that it is wrong, still we are not doing enough to stop it!” added the actor.

Actor Vikrant Massey
Vikrant Massey strongly believes in stopping crimes like acid attacks. Wikimedia Commons

Over the past few years, Vikrant has managed to make his space with films like “Dil Dhadakne Do”, “A Death In The Gunj”, “Half Girlfriend”, and “Lipstick Under My Burkha”. Interestingly all these films address issues like parental interference in an adult life, elitism in society, language barrier, and gender disparity.

The actor said he uses film as a medium to express his thoughts.

“I have a lot of things to say in my lifetime and, being an actor, cinema is my medium. I am glad that I am an artist who gets a chance to reach out to thousands of people at one time. Being a sensitive human being, I always try and choose stories that somewhere translates my opinion,” said Vikrant, who has also explored the digital entertainment space with web shows like “Mirzapur”, “Made In Heaven”, “Criminal Justice” .

Also Read- Good News Is When An Actor Works For My Banner At A Lower Price: Karan Johar

He will soon be seen in the new season of the web series “Broken But Beautiful”, where he shared screen space with actress Harleen Sethi. The show will be streaming on the OTT platform ZEE5 and ALT Balaji from November 27. (IANS)