Back from Harvard Business School where he was a keynote speaker, and followed by a screening of Delhi Belly at the Los Angeles Film Festival, Abhinay Deo sounds unassumingly relaxed.
That’s until the Mumbai-based director starts talking about the experience he gathered back there. During the chat that followed, he shared his thoughts on why he loves being a director and shed some light on his upcoming projects.
How did the audience react to Delhi Belly in LA?
The film was released there in July itself but the crowd who have already watched the film before were excited to be there.
And what did you speak about at Harvard?
I was invited to discuss the changing face of Indin cinema. I gave a speech and a special screening of Delhi Belly was organised too.
What kind of questions were these students asking?
There was tremendous curiosity and more than 50 per cent of them were non-Indians. They were asking well-researched-questions. Like, whether corporatisation is a good or a bad thing. Or whether commerce affects creativity.
What’s the story behind 24? (Deo is directing the desi version of the American TV series)
I’m currently working on it. Anil Kapoor struck the deal with the producers and it’s hitting Indian television sets very soon.
Why television all of a sudden?
I think I don’t want to restrict myself when it comes to direction. I’ve been active in commercial ads for over 14 years now.
What is the biggest challenge that takes an ad filmmaker faces while making a feature film?
Both the mediums convey stories. Just that one has 60 seconds while the other one has 120 minutes or so. In an ad, you have to be meticulous about every single frame. Film gives you the luxury of space and time as well. There is a lot of disparity between the two but, fortunately, in the past few years, a lot of the filmmakers are shifting from one medium to another and vice versa.
Are there any films in the pipeline?
I am keen on three feature scripts.
You are from Mumbai but you’re yet to make a film based in this city…
Yes, I know. Out of these three films, one is based here. Even 24 has Mumbai at its heart.
Both your parents (Ramesh and Seema Deo) are veteran actors. How come you didn’t choose acting?
My maximum energy is spent on creating ways to tell stories. Also, directing is far more challenging than acting.