LUCKNOW: Satish Kaushik, who has been shooting in Uttar Pradesh for Kagaz, says it is one of the most film-friendly states. Not only are people coming out in every possible way to help him and his crew, “the government machinery and the bureaucrats are also doing every bit to make things easier for me”, he says.
Kaushik says he would love to “make more films and tell more stories based in UP”. “My current film is laced with a lot of Awadhi music. Awadhi, especially the music, has very deep-rooted links with Hindi cinema.”
The producer-director showers lavish praise on his lead actor Pankaj Tripathi, who is playing the protagonist in Kagaz. “He is such a brilliant actor. He is very spontaneous. He is a product of National School of Drama where I have also studied. He gives very genuine, natural and understated performances.”.
Kaushik feels Tripathi’s personality is such that “he brings natural humour to the character by his expressions and dialogue delivery”. He says he never wanted to cast an established actor to sell his film. Since the film’s theme was set in a rural background, “Pankaj was perfect for the role” since he comes from a similar background.
Talking about the film’s theme, the filmmaker says: “Loss of identity is a major problem across the world. A person is declared dead despite being very much alive. And ironically, he has to prove that he is alive. This is a major flaw of our system. The fight to regain his identity had transcended the boundaries of material world. It was a struggle much beyond getting his land back and getting his life back. I find it very inspirational.”
Asked if there is acceptability for such films, Kaushik says, “The boundary between mainstream and parallel cinema has disappeared... Films with light humour and life, like Bareilly Ki Barfi and Stree are doing well. The stories based in small towns are also doing good business if made properly with heart.” “I want to take this movie to international film festivals,” he says.