Even though his films have not been blockbusters, almost all of them have been appreciated by a section of the audience that wants to watch intelligent cinema. Producer and director Onir’s last film ‘I Am’ had four stories that dealt with different issues. In this interview, he talks about ‘Chauranga’, his latest venture as a producer which is based on caste discrimination in the Indian society.
Anticlock Films has been very selective about the kind of films it backs? What made you come on board as a producer for ‘Chauranga’?
The driving force behind me producing the film was the script. It was a very engrossing and dramatic script and was set in a world I was not familiar with. I could not have let go of a brilliant script like this.
You had expressed your displeasure at the cuts suggested by the Censor Board in the film. What are your views on the censorship system in the country?
I am not upset with the Censor Board just because of the cuts they imposed on our film. It has become a much wider issue. Almost every filmmaker is going through some trouble with the Censor Board. I think the Cinematograph Act needs to be revised and a new grading system should be introduced. We need to acknowledge the fact that there is a large audience which wants to see adult or A rated films on the big screen and the television. It is upsetting for a filmmaker to be forced to chop off scenes which are an integral part of the film. We had to work on the edit of the film and had to do away with a few scenes while retaining the essence of the film. I hope we do not have to do such things in the future.
What is the kind of strategy you have in mind for the theatrical release of the film?
We recently released the trailer which gives the audience a glimpse of what the film is all about. Ours is not the kind of film which we can promote by talking about the kind of clothes or shoes the actors are wearing. We have a good film with a unique and dramatic story that will touch the audience’s heart. The film is about a 14 year old boy writing a letter. Everybody falls in love at some point in his life. Maybe today, instead of sending a love letter, they send a message on Facebook or WhatsApp. It takes you back to that point in your life when you fell in love for the first time, confessed, got rejected and went through several emotions pertaining to love. The theme of the film is something the audience will identify with.
You have been working on Shab, your next film as a director, for quite some time now. When is it releasing?
Shab is in the final post-production stage. I hope to release the film around April or May next year.