Amole Gupte: Keep the faith in cinema

The writer-director shares his thoughts after his latest film Stanley Ka Dabba won the ActionAid Jury Prize at Giffoni Film Festival, Italy, a few days ago

Beaming with joy and pride, Amole Gupte is a happy man. His film has just won an important international accolade. This, for him, is a vindication of what he believes in – passion before commerce. Both his films, Taare Zameen Par (as creative director) and Stanley Ka Dabba (entirely his baby) are testimony to the fact that he is not driven by the economics of cinema, but by the need to make the kind of cinema he wants to make. Gupte says, “If all you want to do is make money, then you should be in some manufacturing business, something with low risk and assured profits; but if you want to make cinema, you should have faith in it.” He is a bit disappointed that he can’t go to collect the award because of some visa issues, but that is not stopping him from celebrating his moment of victory. When asked if his film had a star attached to it (like how Salman Khan recently associated with Chillar Party) he explained, “Looking around for a star was the last thing on my mind.” All he wanted was to make a good movie and get it released. Unfortunately, even the release wasn’t the way he would have liked it to be. Being a children’s film, very few prints were released and the show timings did not help either. When asked if getting the movie a ‘tax free’ status would have helped, he said, “By the time we even began to think of it, the movie was already on its way out.” For now, Gupte is not brooding over the issue and is happy that the genre of children’s films is gaining steam, with movies like TZP, SKD, Chillar Party and the soon to be released I Am Kalam. Good times ahead….

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