Imitiaz Ali: The Hit formula

Wednesday, 5 February 2014 - 5:42pm IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: dna Shadow Editorial Board
Imitiaz Ali gives an insight into his success in the film industry

Imtiaz Ali, the man behind Rockstar & Jab We Met, was a speaker at the United Nations Young Changemakers Conclave, on the theme ‘Setting the Agenda for India’. Our shadow editorial board caught up with him for a quick chat!

There are a few people who stand at the forefront of youth cinema, and one need not look further than Imitaz Ali. His films contribute to the rebellious attitude of the young generation and their flamboyant attitudes. His films Jab We Met and Rockstar were successful, not solely because they starred the notorious and well known actors, but also because the film in actuality was a journey of self realization and strife, which a great deal of our generation face today. Imitaz Ali can easily relate to the struggles and indecisive nature of today’s teens, mainly because he faced such dilemmas himself.    

 It is said that you are a man of few words, is it a myth or do you agree?
 I spoke enough on the stage, didn’t I? Its not that I am a man of few words but I like to speak only when spoken to.

 What is your take on the recent rise of women-centric films and low-budget films on contemporary issues?

I think they are wonderful and the industry needs them, they showcase good talent and are good entertainers as well.

 So, according to you, are they here to stay or will we spring back to the typical masala films?
 They are definitely here to stay. They are doing good business, and the typical single-hero films will be there always, but these films have the potential to outdo them!

 What message do you wish to convey to the youth through your next film, ‘Highway’?
 Well, the message is in Highway. But what I want to tell the youth is that set yourselves free, don’t be trapped in yourselves. As long as you stay trapped in yourself, your full potential remains unexplored.

 What is your take on Section 377, are you for it or not
 I am obviously against it. It challenges a kind of a pre-ecided choice, and I am completely not for it.

 What were your influences while growing up as a director ?
 I had quite a few Influences while growing up, one of the main ones would be Sholay, as it not only was well directed but also touched upon vital issues of the time.

 What would be your advice to the budding director?
 My advice to the youth would be to create volumes of work, not just simply spending hours planning but more time spent in actually doing the more practical work. If you enjoy filmmaking, then you will enjoy just making work.

 Indian Cinema is a familial industry and shuns those who are from outside the circle of that family.
 I myself am an outsider to Bollywood, and I do not feel that Indian Cinema is biased. If you work hard, you can make it in the industry.

 What are your views on crowd-funded film projects? Do you think that they have a future in the modern age of Indian Cinema?
 I feel that all films, if well directed, have a chance to make it big, but I am not entirely familiar with crowd funded projects.


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