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Filmmaking is becoming more transparent: Sajid Ali

Filmmaking is becoming more transparent: Sajid Ali

By Sanya Pandey

 New Delhi, Sep 12 (UNI) Sajid Ali, who has marked his directorial debut with 'Laila Majnu', says filmmaking is becoming more transparent and relatable these days.

In a conversation with UNI, Sajid talked about the current lot of filmmakers and the kind of cinema that is being portrayed on the screens.

'I think the cinema is becoming more real these days, as the people are becoming more real. Cinema truly responds to the demand,' Sajid said.

'We will only make the films that will connect with the audiences. As education is on the rise, people are becoming more aware of the world we live in, more communicated and filmmaking is reaching to the lowest common denominator where you can pick your phone, shoot something, edit and release it online. Filmmaking is becoming more transparent, relatable.'

If there is any similarity between him and his elder brother Imitaz Ali's approach to the filmmaking, Sajid said, 'We come from the same womb. I have learnt how to approach cinema's professionally. I have learnt work ethics from him. If there is any similarity I consider myself lucky. Especially the level of commitment that Imtiaz Ali comes with is remarkable. It will be my life's aim to come as close to it as possible.'

'Before this film started I considered myself as a director who did not had vision for locations. So I learnt usage of locations from him. I have also learnt to think less from my brain and more from my heart as a result of this journey working with Imtiaz,' he said.

Asked about the decision to co-write and direct 'Laila Majnu' with Imtiaz Ali, Sajid said, 'just the opportunity to make the film was the most lucrative deal for me in this.'

'Secondly to work with my brother Imtiaz Ali and learn from him--as he is accomplished in this world of man-woman relationships. Imtiaz is quite literary and comes from a place of depth, whereas I lack all those qualities. So it was a good chance for me to begin my career by learning from him,' he said.

Whether the love story is relevant for today's cinegoers, Sajid said, 'Absolutely, because this story has been relevant for 1200 years. So why should it not be relevant in today's time just because we think we have become modern. It will be relevant probably for around another 1200 years.'

'Human emotions haven't changed. Earlier we used to write letters, today we Watsapp, or Instagram it. But the feelings are the same. We still have the same roots,' he said.

Talking about the thoughts touched upon in the movie, Sajid told they got really inspired when they researched 'Laila Majnu' story.

'And what inspired us was the purity of love that Majnu had for Laila and vice versa. Through that purity, Majnu reached 'Moksha', he transcended beyond this world to a place where he had no use of physical Laila. That kind of love. Laila was a mirror for Majnu, from which his love got reflected from,' he said.

'There are no political situation of Kashmir touched upon in the film. My personal excitement for making the film was that I am getting the chance of telling the story of a youth today, the normalcy of Kashmir to be depicted in the film today, which is so rare. There is also a society, people are thriving, why doesn't it get featured in our films,' he said.

Telling about choosing Kashmir as a locale for the film, Sajid said,'Using Kashmir as a location was my brother's decision, but I was excited to represent Kashmir's culture and society. The reason for him to base the film in Kashmir was that the place is suspended in time. It is very fairytalish, romantic, and it became a natural setting for 'Laila Majnu'.'

On choosing fresh faces for the film, Sajid said,'we did not wanted stars to weigh down our real stars 'Laila' and 'Majnu'. Our story is our hero and we wanted to present this in the freshest way possible, where audience look into the clean slate.The audience will look at them like real Laila Majnu, but not as actors who are just portraying 'Laila' and 'Majnu'.'

If 'Majnu' resonates him of any of the Imtiaz's character, Sajid said it is Jordan from 'Rockstar'.

'Jordan also relinquishes, gives up everything in search of something. Majnu does the same,' he said.

Talking of any trend he likes or dislikes in the art of filmmaking, Sajid said,'I particularly dislike not only in the filmmaking, but also in the making of a song-- anything that does well, 10 people will want to repeat the same, recreate it mindlessly.'

'People think that these formulas make them safe, I don't like it. Because there can't be any formula, otherwise all the films will do well. One should only do what he/she can do and not to think about what's going to become of it. This is unnecessary, people should avoid it.'

Sajid said that he only expects honest feedback from the audiences.

'Because that's the only reality check we filmmakers have, professionaly in a world which is illusionary,' he added.

'Laila Majnu' is a romantic film starring Avinash Tiwari and Tripti Dimri.

The film was theatrically released on September 7.


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