ANNIV SPL: Filmmaker Abhiroop Basu talks about his journey and future projects

He is soon to make a feature film and work with Bombay productions  
Abhiroop Basu
Abhiroop Basu

Filmmaker Abhiroop Basu has won hearts globally with his short films such as Laali, Meal, The Paperman, and Afternoon with Julia. As he embarks on his full-length features, Indulge speaks to him about his journey.

Did you always want to become a filmmaker?
Cricket was my first love but cinema happened in Class XI after I was heartbroken in love. My first short
The Day After Tomorrow premiered at the Mumbai Film Festival in 2013. I was nervous but everyone gave a standing ovation at the end. I realised the power of cinema, and how it connects to people and decided to pursue it.

How has global cinema influenced you?
When I saw Breathless by Jean-Luc Godard and Jules and Jim by Truffaut, my world changed. In Europe, when they spoke about the masters, they could speak freely about what they did not like. It was a forum where everyone’s opinions were welcomed and not judged.

What are you currently working on?
Two Hindi features, written and directed by me, will go on floors next year under production studios in Mumbai. I am also engaged in the development of two shows that I am directing. Two new shorts have just started doing the rounds of the film festival circuit. One is Gudgudi based on the Gujarat riots and the other is the dark comedy Rhino Charge which will be released soon on OTT.

A lot of your works are shorts. Is that a genre you prefer?
Shorts were the medium of learning and finding my voice before taking on feature films.

Where do you draw inspiration for your films as most of them have a strong social construct?
My cinema is a reflection of what I see, hear, and breathe. For Laali, I was standing outside a studio in Tollygunge where there was a laundry shop and a wedding procession was passing by. I noticed that the laundry man did not even look up once which I found fascinating. He used to iron men’s clothes, so from
there, the question that arose was, ‘Is there a woman in his life?’.

What is the scope of independent filmmaking today?
It enabled me to find my voice and hone my craft. But in India, the system needs to be more maker-friendly 

How do you see the role of film festivals today?
media and film festivals have had a good impact on my life. That’s the only space where independent filmmakers can showcase their voices.

A trend in the film industry that will continue in 2024
Jawan and Pathaan were well-received, and money came back to the industry. Also, a film like 12th
Fail did so well. Word of mouth surpasses all kinds of marketing and people are coming back to the
theatres. This trend will continue.

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