Ritesh Batra on making it to Variety's list of 'top 10 directors in the world to watch out for'

Updated: Dec 23, 2016, 17:44 IST | Sonil Dedhia |

'Lunchbox' director Ritesh Batra talks about getting included in Variety's list of the 'top 10 directors in the world to watch out for'

Irrfan in a still from The Lunchbox
Irrfan in a still from 'The Lunchbox'

"I am gifted to be able to do what I love, which is, make films,” says an exhilarated Ritesh Batra, who has been listed on Variety’s list of world’s top 10 directors to watch out for for his English language-debut film, The Sense of an Ending. The list places him alongside the likes of Julia Ducournau (Raw) and Barry Jenkins (Moonlight).

"It feels great when you are honoured and appreciated for your work. I was thrilled when my name was announced; people around me were excited too. They are honouring everyone at the Palm Springs Film Festival in California where my film will also premiere (on January 3). But at the same time, I don’t want to be consumed by any of this, and continue doing my work," he adds.

Talking about collaborating with legendary litterateur Julian Barnes, on whose novel his film is based, Batra says, “The first thing that he told me was, ‘Go ahead and betray me.’ It was a blessing to work with him. He trusted us completely and came on the sets twice. He saw the film and sent me a letter saying he loved it.”

Ritesh Batra
Ritesh Batra

Despite being an adaptation, Batra promises elements of freshness in his film. “We didn’t want to make a movie that was exactly like the book. I have seen adaptations not working because they have been too faithful to the book. It was a painful yet a magical experience,” he says about the Jim Broadbent and Charlotte Rampling-starrer.

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