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Exciting time for storytellers in Bollywood: Habib Faisal

"Small budget films have kind of shaken up everybody. A film gets made and it is watched, liked and then the money comes back. Now no one is scared of breaking the formula. Now the formula is to break the formula. The power of script is being recognised," Faisal said in an interview.

Habib Faisal
Habib Faisal on the sets

Faisal, who wrote 'Band Baaja Baarat' and brought Delhi's Lajpat Nagar in focus with his debut film 'Do Dooni Chaar', feels small budget films are here to stay. "It is not just me. We had never seen a film set in Jamshedpur until 'Udaan' came and then there was a comedy on Osama Bin Laden.

This is very exciting time for storytellers in Bollywood and interesting stories are being written," he said. The director says he wanted to explore the small towns of India through 'Ishaqzaade', which stars Arjun Kapoor and Parineeti Chopra and has been produced by Yash Raj Films.

"I find this new spunk in small towns very interesting and I wanted to extend it to funky characters who fall in love in a raw and edgy manner where the courting also happens through abuses. Also, small towns are a lot more vibrant and colourful. They have more interesting sense of humour and a different rhythm."

Faisal feels that there is still a lot of stigma attached to love in the country whether it is in small towns or big cities. "As filmmakers we conjure a reality and think it is fact. Real love stories are still very few. In much of the country a stigma is attached to love.

According to me there should be a right to love. Why can't parents trust their own children in choosing their life partner? It is still difficult to fall in love in this country," Faisal said.

Ask him what prompted him to set the story in a fictional space, the director says he wanted everyone to believe it. "This story is set in a small town which could be anywhere in India. I made it fictitious because we are dealing with universal concerns and I wanted everyone to believe it. Hopefully people remember Almore the way they remember Malgudi."

For Faisal the glamour was in academic pursuits but a series of accidents brought him into filmmaking as his plan to become a doctor did not work out. "Being a middleclass child you go for professional courses.

I was all geared up for medical except that I flunked all exams. Then I was introduced to theatre in my college and that prompted me to switch from science to literature. I was not a five-year-old dreaming about cinema," said Faisal, who moved to Bollywood after working as a cameraman for a news channel.

"By some accident I ended up writing 'Salaam Namaste' and then I wanted to direct but did not want to put my name just for the sake of it. I wanted to direct when I had something to share and when I hit upon the 'Do Dooni Chaar' idea I realised that it was something I wanted to do." 

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