He is just four films old but is already amongst the leading filmmakers of Bollywood. From his debut movie Yahaan that was a love story set in troubled Kashmir to 2012’s sleeper hit Vicky Donor, a light-hearted drama revolving around the topic of sperm donation and political drama Madras Café based on the Sri Lankan conflict of the 80s to this year’s Piku about the digestive problems of a 70 year old man and his relationship with his daughter; the filmmaker in Shoojit Sircar has always surprised viewers. In fact, his upcoming production Runningshaadi.com has already built hopes. Sircar who was recently at NFDC’s Film Bazaar gets candid with Pandolin.

Shoojit Sircar

Shoojit Sircar

What brings you to Film Bazaar?

I had a small session about my films. I have never been to a film festival so this is my first visit to the festival in Goa. I came and spoke to a lot of film technicians and shared a bit about my journey. Also, I’m here to talk about Gujarat Tourism films and my experience of shooting in Gujarat.

READ: FILM BAZAAR IS AN EXTREMELY FERTILE PLATFORM FOR INDEPENDENT FILMMAKERS

How did the evolution in your storytelling from Vicky Donor to Piku happen?

Basically, these are simple observations that I’ve possibly seen myself. Normally I wish to do films that are a pure reflection of life. I found a very talented writer – Juhi Chaturvedi and there has been a beautiful tuning with her in which she understood my vision also. That’s how different subjects happened.

Piku and Vicky Donor are very unconventional films. How did you know that they’ll work?

I didn’t know that they’ll work. I always thought that they won’t work. I thought that I’ll just manage to recover the cost. But I think they connected with the audience as real life stories and for me they are real life stories.

READ: PIKU WAS ALWAYS ABOUT A FATHER-DAUGHTER RELATIONSHIP

What is your background in filmmaking?

I’m an absolutely a ‘sadakchaap’ filmmaker (laughs). I have learnt everything on the job and have never attended any film school or FTII. The learning was purely by reading books and watching films.

Shoojit Sircar at Film Bazaar

Shoojit Sircar at Film Bazaar

As a director, what kind of methods do you adopt for preparing your cast?

My background is theatre, so I mostly try the theatrical way of blocking or rehearsing with actors. I leave the stage with them and leave them to do whatever they want in that space. I then try putting my vision to it. And I slowly take them through it in the way that I want it.

From newcomers such as Ayushmann Khurrana to veterans like Amitabh Bachchan, you have worked with a versatile bunch of actors. How was the experience?

Ayushmann and Yami (Gautam) were new so I had to do a bit of hand-holding. I made them feel really comfortable by doing workshops, rehearsals and a lot of blocking. That’s how it became easy. Though the same approach was used with the stars also.

READ: EITHER YOU ARE A SUPER STAR OR YOUR SCRIPT IS A SUPER STAR 

What are your future plans?

I’m working on some projects and we’ll soon have some announcement. At this moment, I have three-four ideas.

-Transcribed by Navleen Kaur Lakhi

Summary
Photo ofShoojit Sircar
Name
Shoojit Sircar
Nickname
(Shoojit)
Job Title
Film Director