Sudhanshu Saria: I actually wrote Knock Knock Knock for Mithun Chakraborty

Published: Sep 26, 2019, 14:48 IST | Sonil Dedhia |

The film Knock Knock Knock Knock by Sudhanshu Saria has been selected at the Busan Film Festival

Sudhanshu Saria with the cast.
Sudhanshu Saria with the cast.

Mid-day journalist Sonil Dedhia interviews the film Knock Knock Knock's director Sudhanshu Saria. Here are the excerpts from the interview. 

Tell us about the film
It's a psychological thriller, sort of a cat-and-mouse game between this Older Bengali man who builds crosswords and this young Nepali boy, this tattoo artist who interrupts his work one morning. And it sort of goes from there. The film follows their friendship; as our Dada is trying to figure out who this boy is and why he wants to be friends with him.

The film doesn't see the quintessential Bollywood casting? Tell us how did that fall in place.
I grew up in Darjeeling and have family in Calcutta so this was all very specific and familiar to me. I really was trying to capture that. It's not like I didn't meet Bombay actors but it just never fell into place. I actually wrote this for Mithun Da [Chakraborthy]. I told him I wanted him to return to his Mrigayaa days — I mean, the guy has 7 National Award nominations and two Awards, why is he judging dance contests!? Dada heard the entire narration and really liked it but we couldn't make it work. Maybe something else in the future.

The film being selected for Bhusan Film Festival , what category does it fall in since it's a mid length film?
I was in the middle of sound design when we got that call from Busan and I nearly fell off my chair. Busan is one of the biggest film festivals in the world; it's NOT an Indian film festival and it's NOT a short film festival so for them to want to give our film, especially since it's 40 minutes long, a slot in their festival is quite insane. We're in the WIDE ANGLE section where they have just 5 spots for films that aren't feature length so that's really special too. Personally, I don't really care about these characterisations based on length. The film should determine how long it wants to be, not these release slots; especially in these digital times.

Tell us a bit about your journey.
I grew up in Darjeeling, on tea-estates, left home quite early and have pretty much just been following my heart. I went to film school in New York, did a 4 year degree and got into the business side of things. I was producing films and television in Los Angeles for nearly a decade before I came to Bombay to make LOEV. That was my first time working in Bombay and it was a lot of fun. Section 377 was still on then, so we had to pretty much shoot the whole film in secret and there was no Netflix so we had no idea who would see the film but we went at it with our full josh and spirit. I thought releasing LOEV would be impossible but am very proud we got that film out. GQ, LA Times, BBC, all these messages on instagram from all over the world — it's gotten me more love than I could have imagined. Now it's this one's turn — let's see what happens to this film and how it gets out there.

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