A Minute With: Pankaj Kapur

MUMBAI Tue Sep 20, 2011 7:48pm IST

Handout photo of Pankaj Kapur and son Shahid on the sets of 'Mausam'. REUTERS/Handout

Handout photo of Pankaj Kapur and son Shahid on the sets of 'Mausam'.

Credit: Reuters/Handout

MUMBAI (Reuters) - Pankaj Kapur doesn't seem too worried about the week's delay in the release of his first Bollywood film as director.

"Mausam", starring Kapur's son Shahid and Sonam Kapoor, didn't get a go-ahead from the Indian Air Force in time for a Sept 16 release and will now open in cinemas on Sept 23.

Kapur spoke to Reuters about the reasons for the delay and his experience directing "Mausam".

Q: The release of your first film has been postponed by a week. Are you disappointed?

A: "I am born positive. Whatever was required to be done was done. But because it was postponed by a week, we are now getting an opportunity to make sure that we release the movie worldwide. If it had released on the 16th, it would have released in India but it would have affected our overseas market. Which is why we decided that if we release full strength, in one go, it will help our cause especially in matters of piracy and all that.”

Q: This controversy surrounding the IAF has also led to the delay, right?

A: “This has been created into a controversy. Indian Air Force gave us permission to shoot at their base. They have been amazingly supportive towards whatever our requirements were vis-à-vis the film. It was the computer graphics work which is always shown at the last minute and is ready only at the last minute to be put on the print, to which they suggested an alteration, which is an improvement on the action sequence. And as a director, I was only too happy to incorporate it because it made the scene better.”

“In doing that, because it was computer graphics work, it took a bit of time and by that time it was not possible for us to release worldwide, because when you are releasing worldwide, your prints need to go five or six days beforehand. We had also applied for censorship while we were waiting for complete NOC from the Air Force. They had given us an NOC with a 30-second condition. By the time that happened, it was already the 14th. We could have released it in India on the 16th but we couldn’t have released worldwide. So we decided to postpone it by a week, which will give us an opportunity to create awareness about the film.”

Q: What has been the toughest part of this two-year journey of “Mausam”?

A: “I think the whole journey. The entire two years. Obviously once shooting starts, it becomes a stress which is both creative and physical. We also had tough weather, tough locations, illnesses and all of that. We were coping with that for the last two years.”

Q: Did you always plan to include Shahid in your first film?

A: “No, not really. I had some other scripts I had in mind. But I wasn’t sure. Around the same time, Shahid asked me make a film for him and I thought I would write a script centring around a young man. Then, when the script was ready, there was a proper narration of the script for Shahid and he formally said yes to doing the film, and we went ahead.”

Q: Did you always maintain a professional relationship with your son on the sets?

A: “Isn’t that how it should be? Once the camera is on, we are not father and son. Of course, we will sit down during lunch break and chat about movies and life, but in front of the camera, we are professionals.”

Q: Will he be a part of all your films?

A: “No. Not necessary at all.”

Q: Are you going to direct again soon?

A: “I am dying to act actually. I haven’t been in front of a camera for more than two years and I miss it. So I will do some acting before I take up directing again.”

Q: Do you think postponing the release date has harmed “Mausam’s” prospects at the box office?

A: “No, I hope not. I think we have communicated to the audience that the release has been postponed, and I am confident that our audiences will support us and go out and watch the film on the 23rd.”

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