Posted On Tuesday, September 18, 2012 at 10:26:22 AM
Muzaffar Ali whose last feature film was the Shabana Azmi helmed 1986 drama Anjuman on the life of Chikhan weavers in Uttar Pradesh, is all set to return to his favourite location — the Awadh districts of Uttar Pradesh — for a period film set in 1877.
It’s a story of a tawaif and a nawab. But it isn’t a sequel to one of his famous works, Umrao Jaan, as reported widely.
To Mirror, Ali revealed, “It’s an original story from my own imagination, and not based on any literary work. All the characters are people I’m familiar with. It’s a film that will describe the journey of the people of Awadh through 150 years.
It’d portray how the British played on the Indian mind and how the Indians responded to their provocation. I’ve seen major chapters in the history of Awadh first hand.
Besides being a filmmaker I’ve also been a politician. I’ve seen the demolition of the Babri Masjid. I know Awadh organically.” Ali has finished the scripting and would begin casting soon.
Rubbishing reports of his film being based on Umraao Jaan, he said, “My new film does have a courtesan and a prince. But it isn’t Umrao Jaan again. Even if I decide to do Umrao Jaan, where is the actress to play the part? Just by pouting into the camera you can’t become a legend.”
Incidentally, the funding for Muzaffar Saab’s new film is likely to come from outside the Hindi film industry. “I have never really bothered with the travails of Bollywood. My cinematic concern remains the people and problems of Awadh.
Bollywood was just a way of expressing myself. After my first film Gaman, I made Agaman and Anjuman about the sugarcane industry and chikhan weavers in Uttar Pradesh. Just the dubbing and mixing were done in Mumbai. And even when I was in Mumbai, I hung out with only my film’s crew,” said he.
The new Muzaffar Ali film would be made on an international scale in Urdu, Hindi and English. “It’s time we looked at ourselves as global players. We don’t want to go into the global arena and cut a sorry figure.
We need to go with a product that is comparable with world cinema,” said the Umrao Jaan director, promising a global epic next.
► I have never really bothered myself with the travails of Bollywood. My cinematic concern remains the people and problems of Awadh