Cinema should travel. At least that’s what Ashvin Kumar feels. His belief is highly reflected in the kind of films he has made so far. Evidently, his work is appreciated more overseas than in his own country. “I’m treated like a chaprasi here,” he confesses without hesitation.
Back in 2005, Ashvin Kumar’s short film Little Terrorist won a nomination at Oscars. Following his success, he came up with his first feature film titled The Forest in 2008. When some distributors developed cold feet, it failed to see the darkness of a theatre. Until now.
The thriller loosely based upon the writings of Jim Corbett is finally releasing in India after a five-year long-wait. The tale of a man-eating leopard is metaphorically used in the film to address some serious environmental concerns.
Interestingly, Ashvin often runs into trouble with the Censor Board thanks to the sensitive nature of his work. It was the same this time around too. However, he’s glad that the board didn’t make him cut even a single scene before allowing it to release.
“But then they’ve given an ‘A’ rating for a thriller,” he sighs. “You see I get this special treatment that I don’t desire. Unfortunately, you can’t reason with them as their pen is mightier than rationality.”
On being asked whether he’s open to making commercial films, he replied in affirmative but laid down his conditions too. He says, “The term commercial itself is a huge misnomer. Every filmmaker makes a film hoping it will be watched by a lot of people. Needless to mention, this involves money. Having said that, if I have a great script that requires songs, I won’t mind doing it. I love music!”
Perhaps the reason he has not done one yet is because of Bollywood’s dependence on stars rather than stories. “Hindi film industry is basically t*** and muscles but there have been some positive changes in recent years. Compared to world cinema, we are still lagging far behind the set standards in world cinema though,” he adds.