Filmmaker Dibakar Banerjee, who is one of the four directors of the upcoming horror anthology “Ghost Stories”, says fear is an important emotion and his film refuels the emotion with a dash of reality.


Did he incorporate horror elements from Indian folklore in his segment of the film? “The precondition of being an Indian is being human first. Because I do not think a tiger looks at himself as an Indian Tiger, who might be different from an African one. It is only human beings who put out different narratives on being Indian or Filipino or Korean. Then comes our unique culture, which is a part of the climate condition — the way we look, the clothes we wear. Some are a result of the accidents of history, and these elements make the people of India believe that this is what India is. All these things keep changing with time. So, if we only keep searching for what India is, we are trying to gather water in our hand. I mean, is it possible?” Dibakar told IANS.

Dibakar Banerjee: Precondition of being Indian is being human first
Ghost Stories Director Dibakar Banerjee: “Fear Is An Important Emotion & Without It We Will Die”

So, how can an Indian storyteller leave his signature of being an Indian, which may be different from, say, Iranian culture?

“What I’m saying is, when I tell a story as a human being, without getting worried about establishing Indian element, the signature gets established naturally. We should understand that there is a difference between ‘acting like an Indian’ and just ‘being Indian’. As a storyteller, I shouldn’t ‘act’ like an Indian,” he explained.


Dibakar’s segment of “Ghost Stories” features Gulshan Devaiah and Sukant Goel. The other directors who have called the shots on one segment each are Karan Johar, Anurag Kashyap and Zoya Akhtar. The film releases on the OTT platform Netflix.

On the subject of horror, the “Khosla Ka Ghosla” director said: “Fear is an important emotion and without it we will die. Fear is an instinct that has brought evolution, and ensures us in surviving. Now, we are much secure than that the earlier ages of civilisation. Far less people die than what used to happen a million years ago. The more we become civilised, we realise that our drive for fear needs to be refuelled. That is why we enjoy the ghost stories of our grandparents. Now that survival is not as difficult as it was before, we have new kinds of fear that has to do with climate, nature, geography and socio-politics. I am trying to update the fear ‘menu’ of our mind through the film.”

“Ghost Stories” will release January 1.

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