After making gritty films like Aakrosh,Ardh Satya and Drohkaal,filmmaker Gohind Nihalani is coming up with his first animation film,which he says,has allowed him to “reinvent himself” over the years.
The film titled Kamlu Happy Happy is a 3D animation film about the life and adventures of a baby camel called ‘Kamlu’ who dreams of flying.
“I have always been fascinated with animation and technology and graphics and I have been dreaming to create this work for a very long time. It is a story about a baby camel in Rajasthan,who dreams of flying. The film is in last stage of the post-production,and hopefully,by Diwali we can bring it to the people,” Nihalani told PTI in an interview.
Asked why he decided to take a light-hearted topic like this,the 72-year-old Nihalani said he did not want to repeat himself.
“As an artist one must always reinvent oneself and respond to changing geography,economy and technology around us. We must respond to new stimuli and trends emerging in the society. I do not want to repeat myself,else I will become a dinosaur. And,that’s a fate I will rather not want,” he said.
Talking about ‘Kamlu’,the director,who last produced and directed Amitabh Bachchan-starrer drama ‘Dev’ in 2004,found a “new creative space” while working on the movie.
“Visioning an animated character and directing an actor on screen,both are same for me,the same idea,same challenges. And,since I come from Udaipur,it was easy for me to imagine the desert landscape and for my team to render it,with enough input material available on the web,” said Nihalani.
The Pune¿based studio ‘Krayon Pictures’ behind National-award-winning animation film ‘Delhi Safari’ has also done the animation work for this film.
“The film is always a director’s vision and then he works with the team to realize it. Similarly,for ‘Kamlu’ I visioned the landscape and then the storyboard artist and the animators took over under my supervision. And,making this film gave me tremendous new energy and allowed me to reinvent myself,” he said.
The 90-minute film has been dubbed in English only so far but Nihalani said “the film would be released in both English and Hindi together”.
On animation cinema and its prospects in India,he said,”Animation films in India will only make a lasting impact if they focus on the right storytelling. A film will work only and only if the filmmaker chooses to tell the story rightly.”
Apart from ‘Kamlu’,the veteran director is working on “two other film projects.”
“I’m working on two other film projects. One in Hindi while the other is in Marathi. The scripts are almost ready but,since the casting is not done,I’d not be in a position to say anything further about them,” he said.
Nihalani is renowned for his alternative cinema and his collaborations with Shyam Benegal as a cinematographer in milestone films like ‘Ankur’ and ‘Manthan’.
The director doesn’t like the classification of cinema as ‘commercial’,’escapist’ and ‘parallel’ and says “people have right to make their films their way”.