As Indian cinema celebrates its century, director Nikhil Advani says this is the most exciting time for film-makers as they are experimenting and getting creative freedom — today’s movie buffs are open to new subjects, spelling a boom time for creative minds.
“I have been in the industry for 20 years and in those 20 years, every day I used to think there will come a day when people will start to understand what we want to do and the cinema will change. The kind of films that have been made only proves that every time you give something different to the audience, they will accept it with open arms.”
The box-office successes of women-centric thriller Kahaani, dark comedy Peepli Live and sperm-donation-based comedy Vicky Donor have proved that viewers are accepting change. “I am very happy that the studios are today going to the directors who they would not even look at in normal circumstances. It’s the best time to make films,” said Advani. “I want to thank the audience and say that the more you accept it, the more we will give you different stuff and the more we will keep thinking differently and boldly,” he added.
Advani’s first full-fledged film as a director was the 2003 hit Kal Ho Naa Ho, starring Shahrukh Khan, Priety Zinta and Saif Ali Khan. After that he went behind the camera for Salaam-e-Ishq, Chandni Chowk to China and Patiala House, but these movies couldn’t replicate the success of Kal Ho Naa Ho. He, however, hit the bull’s eye with his animation film Delhi Safari, which won him a National Award.
The film-maker also feels today’s youth “is asking for a difference, whether it is difference in politics, leadership, music, fashion or cinema”. He admits that the demography of people looking for different films is lower than the masses sticking to certain subjects. “That’s why you will always have a Rowdy Rathore or Bodyguard or Dabangg still working [at the box office].”
His next project D Day, a film on cross-border terrorism, is coming out July 19.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 10th, 2013.
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