I want to die making films: Dibakar Banerjee

Over the past few years, he has been touted as the face of intelligent cinema. However,  maintains that art and commerce do need to get married — sooner or later — for the former’s sake! This philosophy probably explains his decision to sign a three-film deal with a big media house like YRF. He’ll be directing two of those projects. In a freewheeling chat, Dibakar shares his thoughts on filmmaking… 

Dibakar Banerjee

Tell us what motivates you to make films?
I know nothing else. I’m overcoming my loneliness as well as the audience’s. For instance, when I made Shanghai, somebody just randomly called me up at 11 in the night and spoke for 45 minutes about the film! The connection your film makes is very surreal. I want to die making films.

Your three-film deal came as a surprise…
I’ve always maintained that I want to do commercial films within the realm of popular cinema. A studio’s backing makes business viable and there are several distribution channels to tap on. If you ignore business, art won’t survive. Besides, my last two films were co-productions too.

And when exactly did you agree to this deal?
Adi (Chopra) made it very clear that we’re looking forward to a director-driven co-production. Like me, he too wants to work with different people with same professional standards. To be frank, I wasn’t expecting him to have such a clear vision. As filmmakers, our movies are very different but our ambition for cinema is quite similar.

What are you working on nowadays?
I’m currently busy with a short film to commemorate 100 years of Indian cinema. It’s a based on a story by Satyajit Ray.

Who are the actors you’d like to work with?
To name a few, Irrfan, Ranbir Kapoor and Ranveer Singh. I’m fortunate to be working with Nawazuddin (Siddiqui). Naseer saab is my personal favourite and I’d love to cast him in any of my films. Tabu, Rani Mukerji and Anukshka (Sharma) are some of the actresses I’d like to direct.  

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