Former journalist Kabir Singh Bhandari in conversation with director Sanjeev Sharma

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Director Sanjeev Sharma

Saat Uchakkey, a comedy film directed by Sanjeev Sharma, released on October 14, 2016. The film comprised an enviable cast starring Manoj Bajpayee, Anupam Kher, Kay Kay Menon, Annu Kapoor and Vijay Raaz, amongst others. And considering what a lot of the movie reviews said about the film’s dialogues, we might as well quote Alfred Hitchcock, who once said, “To make a great film you need three things – the script, the script and the script.”

Kabir, interviewed the director of the film Sanjeev Sharma recently for Wowdelhi.com, and came back impressed with his vision and all that he has planned for the future.

He surely is someone to watch out for !

Saat Uchakkey has an admirable cast, all of whom have proved their mettle decade after decade. However, little is known about you. Tell us about how you entered into Bollywood and your journey.

I started my journey in theatre with ‘Chingari’, a Delhi based theatre group. Directing plays and musicals Itravelled extensively all over India and Europe to explore the realm of theatre, dance forms and puppetry. I used to also write lyrics for the group Indian Ocean. Later on I came to Mumbai to write for television and realized that it was not my cup of tea, and thatItwas only through films that I shall be able to express myself uniquely.

Post Saat Uchakkey, what is your plan? What are you working on now?
Currently I am working on a satire based on the politics of arms lobby and how terrorism, violence all over the world and chaos within the intelligence agencies are interconnected.
Apart from that I have also written a children’s film set in the real world but with an enchanting point of view and a feeling of wonderment that can only be experienced in childhood. Going forward, I also want to direct a gripping love odyssey based on a real-life incident that pits genuine raw emotions against complex social systems.

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The era of silver and golden jubilees is over, now it seems to be all about the first 3 days collection. This being your first film as a director, has the other side of the film business, the marketing of a film, been a revelation for you?
It has been a big revelation! There are holes everywhere! If you happen to make an out-of-the-box film, chances are that people residing in the box will not get it and they will come up with some random marketing pitch which is going to be a reflection of anything but your film.Eventually all the people in the pipeline like media consultants, the PR machinery and distributers will follow that pitch and help diga burial ground for your film! Marketing and promotion for small films should be seriously addressed!

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What are some of the hidden, not so oft talked about obstacles you faced while making this film?
Reducing the length of this fantastic fable to a choppy plot driven film for distribution purposes!

Any quirky anecdotes about some of the actors while shooting?
There is a fighting scene in an abandoned junkyard where the uchakkey’s come to blows with each other. To create a feeling of hyper realism, I told them to ad-lib and it was shot in a single continuous take. The onlookers thought that a real fight had broken out!

Was it intimidating directing a senior, highly accomplished actor like Anupam Kher?
Not at all. Any accomplished actor comes with his set of skills. Anupam Kher needs only a well-written scene,one doesn’t have to direct him. All he needs to know is the blocking and mise-en-scene and the ball rolls on its own J

What kind of movies shall we see you making in the future? Only parallel cinema?
Parallel cinema is a term coined for films that don’t find the required attention, promotion and audience. What I am working on is the marriage of solid content with very high entertainment- energized cinema with original content that you haven’t seen before, which the audience will have no reference to. Fiction stories that ring true and yet function like philosophy.

Films with impact and insight that will collapse time and engage the viewer in much needed refreshing new ways.

So, if you missed out on Saat Uchakkey in theatres, maybe now would be a good time to watch it and decide for yourself what you think of it!

— By Former journalist Kabir Singh Bhandari kabirs-mug-shot

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