Anurag Kashyap talks to us about the benefits and pitfalls of a home country premiere of his latest film Mukkabaaz, and how the foreign audiences perception varies from the Indian audiences.

Mukkabaaz is being hailed as your return to the mainstream. Is that an accurate perception?

I hope it is!

Anurag Kashyap

Anurag Kashyap

Mukkabaaz premiered at Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) last month. Do you think there will be a palpable difference when you screen it in Mumbai or are film festival delegates the same everywhere?

I believe the home audience will relate to the story more because they know the context. And of course, Indians always better understand the nuances of the language. But Cinephiles, world over are similar, yes. When they don’t get the context, they’ll research it or discuss it. Here, maybe they’ll just be reactive. Let’s see how it goes.

It is sometimes difficult to convince Indian Filmmakers to either premiere at Indian Festivals or to give them preference over other festivals. As someone who has been programmed at festivals, what are the advantages or disadvantages of a home country premiere?

Yes, it is difficult. Especially when there are larger-than-indie profiles involved. Studios and producers worry about bad responses before the release of the film. They also fear that there are vested parties ready to pull it down. At the end of the day, it always comes back to the box office. There is this other unfounded fear that if the film premieres at MAMI it won’t travel more, which isn’t correct. Every international festival allows a film to have a home premiere. Indie films do benefit from that.