Filmmaker Nandita Das says she is not afraid of facing failure as it “allows her to try out new things”.
Her upcoming film “Manto” is making the right noise and travelling to different film festivals. Nandita says she just wants to live up to everyone’s expectations.
“Very early in my life, and largely thanks to my parents, I decided not to have a fear of failure. It frees me from pressure and allows me to try out new things,” Nandita told IANS.
“Having said that, many people — producers, cast and crew — have put a lot of faith in me and I just want to live up to their expectations. And now with the buzz, I feel the audiences are also expecting something special. I hope all our intent and hard work will translate into an experience that they cherish,” she added.
“Manto” will be screened at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), where she last went with her directorial debut “Firaaq” a decade ago. The movie, on the life of late Urdu writer Saadat Hasan Manto, will be screened as part of a Special Presentations section. TIFF will be held from September 6-16.
“Manto” follows the most tumultuous years in the life of iconoclastic writer Manto and those of the countries — India and Pakistan — which Manto inhabited and chronicled.
The film stars Nawazuddin Siddiqui as the writer, Rasika Dugal as his wife and Tahir Raj Bhasin, Rishi Kapoor and Divya Dutta in key roles.
Talking about going to the fest, she said: “I have been to TIFF as an actor many a time, right from my first film ‘Fire’ in 1996. But it is my second time as a director. I went for the world premiere of ‘Firaaq‘ in 2008, can’t believe it has been 10 long years!
“I am so looking forward to being back, and that too with ‘Manto’. TIFF attracts a very engaged and enthusiastic audience — both international and the diaspora of the sub-continent. This is still the beginning run of the festival circuit so I am looking forward to seeing how the audience responds; how similar or different will they be from Cannes film fest or the film fest in Syndey.”
She says her past experience shows that films transcend boundaries and human emotions are universal.
“While ‘Manto’s context is very local, his story, I feel, will resonate with the widest of audiences. There have been Mantos in every era and in different parts of the world. In fact, I have made the film to invoke the Mantoiyat (‘Manto-ness’) that we all have within us.”