Interview with Director Rajan Khosa
Vidya : When did you start making the film?
Rajan : This film has taken two and half years of my life so far.
One year in the script, one year in production and six months in sporadic
travelling across the world attending film festival in Berlin, Los Angeles, Toronto,
New York, London, Edinburgh.
|Director Rajan Khosa
Vidya : How was the idea of this film conceived?
Rajan : It was a collective effort of 4 writers including myself, each with special strengths in the art of story, screenplay, characters and dialogues. I was aware that I wanted to shape a fun film, a sports film, an action film with a deep message. A film that will spur us into making this world a better place to live in.
Vidya : You rewrote your entire script for the lead actor. Was it a difficult task fixing it?
Rajan : Rewriting a script should never be a difficult task, but an inspired one. When you find that reality before you is better and more enchanting than your imagined script, it is best to change it.
Vidya : You are known as an experimental director, trying your hand at various genres. What do you expect from this film? (In terms of the market, films reach..etc).
Rajan : I think if you make a film from your heart, it is bound to reach people. The
challenge is how to break the routine assumptions and find new ways of
connecting to people. New content requires out of box ways to reach people. We
are employing some innovative strategies in distribution and I am anxious to see
Vidya : Are you content with the treatment and content of the film? Any confessions?
Rajan : I am happy with the content of the film, where as in treatment, I am curious to find out if children and adult would like a faster pace than I have provided. It is
already a roller coaster ride - specially the climactic kite battle in the sky is no
less than watching real jet fighters.
Vidya : How did the Childrens' Film Society India (CFSI) offer come your way?
Rajan :By chance really.
Vidya : Your first feature film- 'Dance of the Wind' and other short films like 'Wisdom Tree' (Bodhvriksha) which also won the National award in India, have garnered International success too.'Gattu' has already been applauded by the International film fraternity. Does this make you feel content?
Rajan :International awards do bring international acclaim and help with international distribution of my films. But unfortunately these awards don’t make any difference to the domestic distribution of the film, except a few metros. How do I speak sense to large Indian mass steeped in the Bollywood tradition? How do I use Bollywood traditions to my benefit? These are some of the things that occupied my mind during the making of Gattu. Talents like Dilip Shukla (writer of Dabangg) and Sandesh Shandilya (successful Bollywood music composer) I tried to use in Gattu in my own way.
Vidya : Did you babysit the kids of your film? Was it challenging to work with them?
Rajan :The creative core in kids doesn’t need baby sitting. Once awakened they become larger than life and take over. For children playing and acting is the same, and afterall acting is nothing but play-acting. Kids have no money issues, no ego hassels. They trust easily and are vulnerable to suggestions, and can be
moulded to your vision easier than adults.
Vidya : Do you have sleepless nights before the release of your film?
Rajan : Just when the film is getting released. I feel exhausted and relieved, as a mother must feel after child birth.
Vidya : Most aspiring directors hardly achieve modest success. You have had some established actors working for you in your earlier movies. You have had some success with your independent films too. Do you think the low profile of the
actors in 'Gattu' could hamper its success?
Rajan :A film director must have the power to create an intense experience - actors, music, sets, costumes, camera – all these are tools to create a unifying powerful experience. When the audience is emotionally moved, I think they won’t much care how known or unknown the actors are. Sometime, actors taken from real life are more convincing than known actors. And in my case I had to find a child protagonist, so I preferred to find it in reality.
Vidya : Movie making can be a time consuming job what do you do for hobbies? Do you have any peculiar interests?
Rajan : Kite flying, swimming, and sometimes - the joy of being lazy.
About the Film:
In a small town in central India, kids and adults are equally obsessed with kite-flying. The airspace is dominated by a black kite called ‘Kali’ with Mysterious origins. A street kid Gattu, dreams of defeating Kali but fails. He discovers that the local school has a roof, which will give him a vantage point. Impersonating as a student he sneaks into the school and must now pretend to study. The only problem -- he is illiterate! None the less, the little street urchin takes up the challenge... Dreams aren't impossible when the desire is strong!
Director: Rajan Khosa
Cast: Mohammad Samad, Naresh Kumar, Bhura
Banner: Children's Film Society, India
Script: Ankur Tiwari, KD Satyam, Rajan Khosa, Dilip Shukla,
Cinematography: Satya Rai Nagpaul
Music: Sandesh Shandilya
Editor: Antara Lahiri
Runtime: 80 mins
Release: July 20, 2012
(With Inputs from TNN)