NFDC Film Bazaar 2015 - 3 Things Filmmakers Can Learn From Shoojit Sircar's Journey!

By Aditya Savnal. Posted on November 21, 2015

With films like Vicky Donor and Piku to his credit, Shoojit Sircar has quickly established himself as one of the most exciting filmmakers of our times. Much of this can be attributed to the life like realism of his films along with the interesting themes around which he weaves his films. Not many filmmakers can create endearing films on themes like sperm donation (Vicky Donor), constipation and hypochondria (Piku).

At a session at the ongoing NFDC Film Bazaar, he engaged in a conversation with the noted journalist and TV anchor Anuradha Sengupta, and shared several insights on his storytelling process and filmmaking journey.

Sircar stated that Satyajit Ray's films have impacted him deeply and have influenced his work to a large extent. For example, Piku was influenced by The Apu Trilogy. As a part of the preparation process, Sircar showed the iconic trilogy to writer Juhi Chaturvedi and actress Deepika Padukone. He also admitted to Woody Allen's films inspiring his work to a great extent.

Though the above mentioned films may be better known among his repertoire, Sircar said that he was inclined more towards making political films like Yahaan (his debut film) and Madras Cafe (based on Rajiv Gandhi's assassination). And he intends to make more films with political leanings in the future. Besides this, he shared several important learnings from his journey, some of which we've compiled below.

Real Life Experiences Help You To Make A Better Film

By his own admission, the scripts of Vicky Donor and Piku were influenced by Sircar's own experiences including the scene in which Vicky's mother and grandmother indulge in a drinking session. The characters of Annu Kapoor as Dr. Baldev Chaddha (Annu Kapoor) and Vicky Arora (Ayushmaan Khurana) in the film were inspired from the people he encountered while living in Delhi. Similarly the story of Piku was inspired from the several dinner-table family conversations that Sircar had been a part of. In his opinion, imbibing real life experiences in your script helps you weave a better story and makes the proceedings more identifiable.

Avoid Playing To The Gallery

Sircar stated that despite dealing with a risque subject, he and writer Juhi Chaturvedi ensured that they didn't play to the gallery while writing Vicky Donor. As a result, despite a tricky subject, the film turned out to be a warm and endearing comedy.

It Is Never Easy To Make A Film On Your Own Terms

Despite making successful films, Sircar said that it is never easy to make films as per your desire. The success of Piku and Vicky Donor notwithstanding, the road ahead would be tough for him since quite a few of his future projects would deal with some uncomfortable political issues. Sircar said that success and failure notwithstanding, struggles will continue to be an inherent part of a filmmaker's journey. The struggle between what you want to say and what you may have to say will always exist. And apart from counting on your luck, the only way to overcome it is to try and maintain a balance while you make your film. In his opinion, there is no better option to making films than getting a camera and starting to shoot. Here are some of the other important things he shared with the audience;  


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