Panaji, Nov 23 (UNI) The second day of the 49th International Film Festival of India (IFFI), which is underway in the city, began early at Kala Academy with some of the country’s best actors – Divya Dutta, Rahul Bose, Rajshri Deshpande and Pankaj Tripathi – who in the recent past have tasted tremendous critical and commercial success with their work in films like Stree, Bareilly Ki Barfi, and web series like Sacred Games and Mirzapur – and filmmaker Nila Madhab Panda engage in a conversation with cinematographer and producer Aseem Bajaj.
The session titled, ‘Redefining Stories’ saw the panelists take turns to narrate their personal stories, of their journey into the world of cinema. The topic then made way for a conversation on the changes in Indian cinema over the years.
Actress Divya Dutta said, “Now roles are being written for characters that have substance. When Veer Zaara was offered to me, Aditya Chopra had told me that I will never regret doing the supporting role. After the success of that film, people started noticing me and I started getting roles that were beautiful but were not lead.”
She said, “Now roles are being written for all the actors. It is a time to cherish. Films are being made with stories from the heartland, from smaller towns of India. Pankaj Tripathi is a great example of being a heartland star. Things are moving away from the cliché.”
Using his film Poorna as an example, Rahul Bose said, “The story of a 13-year old – the youngest girl to climb the Mt Everest, had every predictable beat of a mainstream film. Yet the film sank in B towns. It broke my heart. We realized that India, apart from a few metro cities, is not interested in a mainstream film without a face. As a producer I will never make a film, however mainstream, without a face.”
Aseem Bajaj, in agreement said, “We celebrate mediocrity. Let’s get out of it.”
Pankaj Tripathi, a brilliant actor but a man of few words, summed up his story in a line saying – “The fact that a person like me is on the panel to discuss ‘Redefining Stories’, in itself is an example of a story redefined.”