Director Tigmanshu Dhulia’s Baarish Aur Chowmein, starring Taapsee Pannu and Amit Sadh, is currently streaming on ZEE5. It is a part of ZEE5’s ongoing film festival where they are releasing twelve films by Indian and Pakistani filmmakers.
This short film is a love story of an interfaith couple. On the sidelines of the film’s screening, Tigmanshu Dhulia in an interview with indianexpress.com said that filmmakers are opinion makers. He also added that they need to be responsible about the kind of stories they tell, and how they tell them.
Here are excerpts:
Q. What was your thought before making Baarish Aur Chowmein?
When this project came to me, it sounded very exciting as there will be film directors from India and Pakistan who will be showcasing their films on this platform. I really liked the idea. Also, we were told that we’ll get to go to Lahore and I have never been to Pakistan. We did go to Amritsar. They crossed the Wagah border, but we couldn’t go. However, the idea in itself was so exciting, that I jumped to participate.
Pakistani directors are very good. They have some really great television content. They are really good! So, I thought my script shouldn’t be ‘plotty’, but more performance driven.
When Shaijla Kejriwal (ZEE5, Head – Special Projects) discussed this project with me and when I told her about how I feel the budget is too low. She said that filmmakers are opinion makers and can make a film in any budget. I felt special then. It got me thinking and act on it. Filmmakers definitely are opinion makers, and this message had to be given.
Q. Now that you have entered the digital space, will you explore it further?
Absolutely! This is the future. I have been saying this for donkey’s years now. This is the only future now. Watching films in theatre is dying. It is very very sad, but it is a fact. We have to survive. We have to tell our stories.
It is a great time for a filmmaker today. We have a variety of platforms today, so we have a bigger scope of telling stories in different formats. Also, there is no censorship. But that doesn’t mean just because I can, I’ll use and showcase unnecessary abusive language or sex.
Q. Since you spoke about censorship, there are talks that there might be censorship for digital content too. Your thoughts.
I don’t really know what kind of censorship they’re talking about. I know people will not like it. However, as an individual, we need some censorship because our society is not really exposed. If we are not careful, a wrong message can go across. It might result in a wrong social progress. Jobs are not created in smaller sectors. Those people migrate and come to bigger cities. They are not progressive. They don’t have that kind of mental development. They are suddenly exposed to things they have never seen. Our social fabric is so weak. If we are not responsibly putting forth our content, there can be communal riots. It is a very complex society that we live in, so we need certain amount of censorship.