Excerpts from an interview:
Your second feature film, Miss Lovely, has been selected for the Un Certain Regard section at Cannes. What does this honour mean to you?
Different films such as Miss Lovely rarely get support in our film industry. It’s a nice thing that after five years of working on a movie, it is going to a reputed festival like the Cannes.
Your film vies for attention alongside the latest works of world luminaries such as Wes Anderson, David Cronenberg and Alan Resnais. Is that a reassuring place to be in?
Are you looking forward to being there with your film and all the glamorous invitees?
I’m not so interested in the glamour of the Cannes. I would be making a different kind of cinema if I were. I am excited to see the response to a new kind of Indian film that breaks conceptions. Miss Lovely is neither a song and dance extravaganza nor is it about rural poverty.
The last film to be invited to Cannes was Udaan. Did you watch it?
I haven’t seen it.
Miss Lovely is your first film in six years. Why the sparse output?
I need to live with the film and the subject for a long time. I’m not in so much of a hurry.
The film takes a satirical look at the culture of potboilers in the 1980s. Do you believe that the 80s were the bottom-most rung of intellectual aridity in mainstream Hindi cinema?
The film is set in the world of sex and horror films of the 1980s. I marvel at how these films were made on such low budgets with few resources. In that sense, they were the original independent films of their time.
What made you choose the three actors Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Niharika Singh and Anil George?
I wanted people who felt similar to the characters in the script. I want people that nobody knows. I saw Nawazuddin’s screen test and was convinced that he is Sonu.
Will we see your next film after another six years?
I hope I can work that fast.