Monday, 15 June 2020

Interview with filmmaker SPP Bhaskaran

Insha Allah will premier at the Straight-Jacket Guerrilla Film Festival

1. How did you get into making films? 
I have always been passionate towards Films. It probably started at a very young age. I was born and brought up in the Rural sides of India. The nearest high school was 5Km away from our Village. During 11th grade, we have Public exam, which requires a lot of preparation. Every evening, my friend and I would lie to our parents about having an overnight study and walk our way to the theatres. We probably watched more than 300 movies that year. And the number hasn’t decreased ever since. I should attribute that extreme love for movie watching probably brought me into film making. 

2. What inspired you to make your movie? 
I wanted to bring what world cinema had to offer to the common people, so I had organised a film society.  I truly believe world cinema elevates not only one’s taste but a person’s general awareness to what the world holds. I met a friend who follows Islam during one of our screenings. He was holding an overwhelming dream of making a film that depicts the day to day lifestyle of Islam. By the end of our conversations, we were sharing the dream together and “Insha Allah” was made. 

3. How has your style evolved? 
I have learnt a lot from the directors who paved the way. I have a lot of mentors like Vittorio de Sica, Satyajit Ray, G Aravindan, Jafar Panahi, Lav Diaz and more. You can probably see their influences in my movie. I want to make a movie that’s entirely my own, like never seen on screen before. Right now, I'm just looking for a producer who would support a venture like that. 

4.Tell us any strange or funny stories while making the film? 
Like all film productions, we encountered many surprises and challenges. In the film, there is a funeral scene for a person who lived following the Islamic lifestyle. In order to show God's POV shot of his burial, we had hired a helicam. The shooting spot experienced heavy winds during rehearsal. The camera was swaying with the wind. We were distressed about how to take the shot. Around 5.00 pm that day, the wind began to settle. It almost came to a stand still, that my sigh of relief could be felt. As we continued to shoot the scene, we were faced with a new challenge. Hundreds of goats paraded into the location. I was at the monitor closely examining the situation. And I realised how the sudden march of goats brought new meaning to the scene. You will experience it in the film as well. The second instance was at Kerala, where we had travelled to shoot India’s first mosque. We had taken several shots, and I was really looking forward to making them part of the movie. But the Assistant cinematographer had accidentally deleted the files. We had to make do with a reshoot at a mosque at our own city in Coimbatore. We were glad when they came out better than the original ones. 

5.The Misrule Film Movement & Pink8 manifesto bring what to mind? 
I personally feel movements like The Misrule Film Movement & Pink8 manifesto help us break the constraints we set in our minds. A film should be about the story you as a person want to share with the world. The medium and the means are numerous, but sometimes we restrict ourselves  with the traditional school of thoughts. Movements like these help us realise our freewill. I want to share stories through that lens. 

6. What can we expect from your next film? 
Based on the research done for “Insha Allah '', and the constructive feedback received from the critics , I have plans to make two more films based on the Islamic way of life. But before all that, I need to help make profits to the film Producer for the movie. That's a moral code, I have set for myself, since he helped me realise my filmmaking dream.