Dipesh Jain’s debut feature was a highly anticipated one. A graduate from the University of Southern California, Dipesh in a L.A. based filmmaker who won the Best Asian American Student Filmmaker Award for his short- 11 Weeks. His first feature, In The Shadows (Gali Guliyan) is about a man, who is trapped within Old Delhi and in his own mind and how he attempts to break free. Along with the stellar cast- Manoj Bajpayee, Neeraj Kabi, Ranvir Shorey and Sahana Goswami, Dipesh Jain interacted with the audience post the screening of his film at the festival. Below is an excerpt.


In the Shadows (Gali Guliyan)

In the Shadows (Gali Guliyan)

Audience: There were a few things left unanswered in the film/unexplored. Were they deliberate or were they red herrings when it comes to the film?

Dipesh Jain: One conscious decision I made for the film was to not answer all the questions. I am going to leave a lot of things unexplored. The brother does have a purpose, he is the first calling from the past. It forces the protagonist to open doors, literally and face things. Physically experience and probably sort out the past. See, memory is sense oriented. It triggers from just speech; someone can say something and take you back in the past. The brother is that trigger point.


Audience: Why is the relationship between the brother and the lead character, so sour?

Dipesh Jain: The brother and the people around Khuddos (lead character) judge him for his actions, while Ganeshi doesn’t. He has forgiven him. I wanted to leave it open moralistically too. See, we are judging the kids actions, as adults. We have to get into his shoes and judge him as a kid. We have to think of how he has acted in those circumstances.


Audience: Tell us about how and why have you revealed the connection between the two stories?

Dipesh Jain: Everybody has been asking about the point of revelation when the two storylines merge. See for me, it is not a psychological thriller, it is a psychological drama. It is an exploration of a character. The way I have built it, is like a tease. You may get it in the first twenty minutes, or the last fifteen minutes; point is, are you intrigued to watch it till the end? If I am successful in making the audience sit tight till the very end, I as a filmmaker have achieved my purpose. In big, bold letters I wrote on the script at the start: “If you deny a child of love, you deny a child of life”. That is what the film is all about.


Vineet Singh (Mukkabaaz, Gangs of Wasseypur): Why does Manoj sir’s character say, ‘If I wouldn’t have stayed, you all couldn’t have gone. You all would have rotted here.”

Manoj Bajpayee: Well for that Vineet, you’ll have to watch the film a little more closely! (laughs)