‘Real life incidents don’t always make interesting films’

Dharamsala, Nov 5 (IANS) At a time when biopics and films based on real life incidents are the flavour of the season in Bollywood, filmmaker Shubhashish Bhutiani says not every film inspired from a true story is “interesting” as all movies have some fictional elements.

Bhutiani, who shot into the limelight with his short film “Kush”, which was shortlisted for the Best Live Action Short Film category at the 86th Academy Awards and was lauded at Venice International Film Festival and Palm Springs Shortfest among other film galas, attended the screening of the film here at the fifth edition of Dharamshala International Film Festival on Friday.

“Kush” also won a National Film Award for Best Promotional Film in 2013, while the director’s first full-length film “Hotel Salvation” was screened at the Busan International Film Festival last month.

While both “Kush” and “Hotel Salvation” are inspired by real life incidents, Bhutiani says he has added his personal ideologies to the projects too as he feels that real life incident don’t make good movies every time.

“Even a film based on some real life incident is a work of fiction. I don’t think they have a special connect to the audience. It’s not that if you will make real life cinema, people will like it,” Bhutiani told IANS.

“I have taken some aspects of reality in ‘Kush’ and ‘Hotel Salvation’, but I have also used a little bit of my own imagination and have brought my own life into it. So it is a combination of things always. But it’s not like real life incidents always make interesting movies. A good film has to be engaging and should connect well with the people,” he added.

While Bhutiani ventured into independent filmmaking through making documentaries before “Hotel Salvation”, he doesn’t see much difference between commercial and independent cinema.

“I think it is important for commercial and independent cinema to co-exist. I don’t wish to hit at commercial cinema. I love them also if it’s a good film,” he said.

“I feel that good cinema should exist. The point with any independent film is that it has to be very unique and truthful, that’s only when people are going to see them,” he added.

The 25-year-old feels that film festivals provide a “great platform” to filmmakers to see what people think about their movies.

“We (independent filmmakers) sometimes don’t have the liberty to go straight to the theatres. Film festivals are great because they offer you the first audience and let you see their reactions live,” he said.

“With internet and film festivals, we are getting covered well. That culture is growing and we’re going in right direction. I don’t imagine a time when short films are not going to be there. I don’t know the future, but if short films are shown in theatres, it would be great,” he added.

“Hotel Salvation”, starring Adil Hussain, Lalit Behl and Geetanjali Kulkarni, will next travel to a few more film festivals and will release in India in 2017, the filmmaker said.

“Right now talks are going on about that. But hopefully we are looking forward to release ‘Hotel Salvation’ early next year or by mid of 2017. After Busan, the film will go to few more places. We are not allowed to talk about that until they make an official announcement.”

(The writer’s trip to Dharamsala is at the invitation of the Dharamshala International Film Festival organisers. Sandeep Sharma can be contacted atAsandeep.s@ians.in)A