Lanka is my second home’ - Saxena
By Dilshath Banu
Bollywood’s latest ‘experimental artist’ and the
director of Jism (Body), Amit Saxena was in Sri Lanka to shoot his
second film ‘Take Two’. Speaking to an exclusive interview
with TV Times , Amit Saxena reveals that Sri Lanka is his second
- After having edited nearly ten films, what made you to move over
to film directing ?
A: - Well, it is destined that I should be s director.
I had no personal ambition, to be a director. Very frankly, I was
very happy being an editor. The ultimate aim for any editor is to
edit his own film independently. I was very fortunate to edit a
feature film of my own. The first film, I edited was called ‘Sangash’
directed by Sanja Chandrath. While I was working with my producer
Pooja Bhath on a television series, I got the chance to direct it.
I had absolutely no idea of what was expected of me as I have never
even as an assistant director for a signal day in my life. Therefore
I think I was destined to be a director.
:- I hear you are in Sri Lanka to shoot your second film, “Take
Two’. Why Sri Lanka as your location?
A :-Sri Lanka is my second home. I have come to Sri Lanka
in 2001 with Poojah Bhath , my producer to do a recky for my first
film Jism. Initially I have planned to shoot ‘Jism’
in Sri Lanka. But due to the unsettled situation in the country,
I couldn’t do it. On meeting the producer of ‘Take Two’
I explained him of my desire to do the film in Sri Lanka and he
agreed. So that’s how it happened. Since I was familiar with
the people, film locations it was easy to arrange things.
:-What are the locations you have chosen to shoot this film?
A :-I have shot extensively in Colombo. I shot the contemporary
and ancient structures in Colombo. I have found houses, whose owners
do not know what a film shoot is. The people in the houses , I visited
were very accommodative. I shot in actual locations in Colombo,
in nightclubs, in streets, in tea estates. But I have to do some
shots in London, as well. Most of them will be indoor shooting.
:- You said that ‘Take Two’is about Sri-Lanka. What
is the story in ‘Take two’ ?
A :- It’s a story of a girl who’s aspiring
to become someone else. She’a a ramp model, and what she wanted
to be was a fashion designer. And in a moment I split her life into
two. It’s two stories in one and it’s screen play is
confusing. I want my audience to go through that confusion.
:- You have also directed stage-dramas, before entering into film
industry. Do you hope to direct stage-plays in the future?
A: When I was 17-21 , I was into stage plays. I have directed
one play was total failure and no body came to see it(laughs). That
day, I decided that I am not going to do theatre again
:- Do you see any relationship between Indian and Sri Lanka films?
A :- Frankly , the Sinhalese films I have seen are too
few. So I cannot comment. But I guess, I don’t see any similarities
between Indian and Sri-Lankan films. What bothers me and what troubles
me is that even the contemporary music is a remix of popular Indian
songs. It’s true that if we dig deeper into the subject, we
see great similarity between Sri-Lankan and Indian music. Research
in this field has to be pursued. And I must tell you, that there
is lot of potential in Sri-Lanka
:- Focusing on the Bollywood film production, what kind of trend
do you see emerging ?
A :- Well right now, it is the most exciting period for
any film maker in India. Most of the Indian films are breaking away
from the mainstream cinema, which focused on nothing but ‘stars’.
Those days people went to see the popular stars, not the films.
The filmmaker should worry about the story now and not who portrays
- When a known wave or a celebrity star in a particular in would
attract film that film might get large audience?
A :- Definitely, it gets you an initial response. And in
two weeks, you would have recovered all your investments. To-day
the audience had become selective .And the whole viewing experience
of films in India is changing, may be young people are filling the
gap of the old generation.
:- Does the South Eastern Region still produce films based on gender
stereo types ?
A :- Well, until the society changes , nothing ever will
change. As long as the society is static you will find gender stereotype
issues. But fortunately, we’re in the period of transition.
I have done that change in the ‘Take Two’. Niether the
men nor the women’s view dominates in the film. I have handled
the story in an unbiased manner.
- The young generation would want to see films based on Western
Values. So you think, making films for the young audience could
lead to borrowing ideas from the West?
A :- Yes. And I don’t think there will ever be a
time, when Indians film industry will stop borrowing from the West.
It’s basically because our background is urban dominated .We
give priority to English language, more than our own, since it helps
us in the job market. It’s all right to follow this trend,
but we must be clear about our identity.
:- South Asian films, most of the time progress around the same
themes. In your opinion what is the biggest challenge faced by the
south East Asian film directors?
A :- The biggest challenge present always be there for
any directors would be to preserve the identity. These days cinema
has become the Western propaganda vehicle.
:- What will be your next film ?
A :- My next film is going be an English comedy and probably
England would be the location I hope this film will give me the
opportunity to connect through to an alien audience, I mean I hope
I’ll be able to reach large audiences and make more money.