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Afwaah director Sudhir Mishra: Not everyone who is making films is a real filmmaker

The national award-winning filmmaker shares what makes him vulnerable as a storyteller

Afwaah director Sudhir Mishra: Not everyone who is making films is a real filmmaker

Last Updated: 11.06 PM, May 05, 2023


Veteran filmmaker Sudhir Mishra, who is known for expressing his strong opinion on socio-political matters through his realistic storytelling, looks back at his earlier days of struggle and how the streaming platforms changed the scenario for directors like him.

The filmmaker was talking as part of the panel at FICCI Frames 2023 about the changing times of the cinema business. The panel was graced by some of the most prominent filmmakers, like Hansal Mehta, Sriram Raghavan, Abhishek Chaubey, and the film producer Ajit Andhare.

Recalling his early days, Sudhir said, "Back in the days when we started our journey, we had a different kind of mindset; we did not want to make any ad films, and television was not that huge in the 1980s, so earning money just to survive was tough; we did not want to make mainstream commercial films either, and we only thought that we would change the world by making those thoughtful films. I think going through the series of rejections somewhere did us some favour because we worked hard to create something better. But now, making an independent film is comparatively easier because of the corporate system, and for release, we have OTT platforms. You see, even the mainstream producers who were making films were selling their property to make a film. They were not getting support from the government either. Having said that, as a filmmaker, I am still the same person, though I do a lot more work now than I used to do earlier. Every time I start writing something, I feel like people will catch my flaws and I will fail. I think that nervous energy is there in every filmmaker, in every real filmmaker; not everyone who is making films is a filmmaker; some of them could be floor managers (laugh)."

In the recent past, the filmmaker directed web series like Hostages, Tanaav, and Jehanabad: Of Love and War, as well as the film Serious Man.

He went on, adding, "One of the reasons why I feel that this is the right time for filmmakers like me, Hansal, and Sriram is that if there are stories that earlier we knew would never be made into a film, it is now possible. I am sure that a film like Serious Man is only possible now because of a streaming platform like Netflix. Back in the days when I made my debut film, I got the fund by chance thanks to Prithish Nandy; now a story has an audience, streaming platforms, and studios to support them."

Sudhir's latest work, Afwaah, starring Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Bhumi Pednekar, is running in the theatre.

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