Nobody will back you if you’re not talented: ‘Phillauri’ director

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New Delhi, March 23 (IANS) Anshai Lal, who is making his directorial debut with Anushka Sharma production’s “Phillauri”, says the film industry has been very kind to him. Citing examples of names like Maneesh Sharma and Shashank Khaitan, who have created a mark with their talent, he says the concept of nepotism doesn’t hold true for directors.

“I don’t think nepotism is true for directors. If you look at the last few years… You can see cases of Maneesh Sharma (‘Band Baaja Baaraat’) and very recently of Shashank Khaitan (‘Badrinath Ki Dulhania’). They are all people who worked very hard as assistant directors trying to make a name for themselves,” Lal told IANS here.

He said without seeing talent, nobody will back a person with a project of Rs 20 to Rs 50 crore just because a person has an association with the industry.

“It has to be more than that. The work of people also matters a lot,” he added.

Lal said the only advantage of being from the industry is that one takes less time to adjust.

“When you are from outside of the industry, it takes you a while to adjust with the system, while people from within the fraternity are adjusted to the atmosphere since childhood. I think that’s the only difference. People hopefully will continue to back talent and that talent can be from anywhere,” said Lal, during his visit here to promote “Phillauri”.

The film, releasing on Friday, is produced by Clean Slate Films and Fox Star Studios. It features Anushka Sharma, Diljit Dosanjh and “Life of Pi” actor Suraj Sharma.

Set in Phillaur, Punjab, it tells the story of Kanan (Suraj), who is persuaded by his friends and family to marry a tree to ward off the bad luck afflicting his love-life. To Kanan’s surprise, this awakens an ancient tree spirit Shashi, played by Anushka.

Asked about his experience of working with Anushka, Lal said: “I think the way she picks her scripts is quite commendable. I think many people won’t touch subjects like this one — either as a producer or as an actor, let alone doing it with a first-time director.

“With all due respect to names like Dharma Productions and Yash Raj Films, this has been a fairly big deal for me. There are many films that never get released, don’t see the light of the day and that is the biggest fear as a first-time director.”

So what kind of films does he want to make going forward?

“I hope to write a good story and that’s what I work towards. I think I am inclined to pushing the visual boundaries. I think the next will be possibly VFX-heavy again. That is something that interests me inherently,” said Lal, who has been an assistant director on films like “Housefull”, “Dostana”, and “Chak De! India”.

(Nivedita can be contacted at [email protected])

–IANS

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