Films | Artist Interviews | Interview with Onir

Interview with Onir

Posted by Vivek on October 16, 2008 | No Comments

A little about your journey to a filmmaker, since you don’t come from a film family?

Well…. lets see where to start. Born and schooling in Bhutan where my mother exposed me to Hindi films. There was one cinema hall in the capital city Thimphu and every weeKend we watched movies there. And at an early age I started dreaming about being a part of this magical art form. From there it has been a long journey, first a student of Literature in kolkatta, JU univercity, then film making course in berlin and then finally Mumbai in 1994. Ten years in the industry with one goal that I need to make my film and that became a reality in 2004 when we started shooting for my first film ” MY brother Nikhil”. MBN could only happen because of the support of my friend actor Sanjay Suri who not only acted in this film but was one of the producers of the film.

My Brother Nikhil and Bas Ek Pal, two very different films from the regular Bollywood stuff that one sees, what were the challenges in making them?

MBN was more difficult to make. BPL was written before MBN and because it needed bigger budget and being a first time dir I was not able to raise finance. Thats when I started to write MBN with the idea that if necessary we would produce it ourself. And that is how it turned up. The biggest challange was making and marketing these films. Unfortunately the Indian audience(overseas and inland) is not too open to watching either
Dark films or films like MBN…. especially if u do not have big stars and lip sync hit music. The other challange is of course finance. Financers, be it independent producers or coorporate houses…. the script is secondary. All that matters is stars. So for both the films it was very imp to do a lot of planning so that the films were made within budget and in time.


What’s next on the platter?

Now that the film is releasing on the 28th of nov I shall see it thru and then evaluate myself and figure which of my scripts i want to make next. There are a couple of scripts I am working on but I cannot make up my mind immediately.

Where do the story ideas come from, for your films?

Most of the stories that I have wored on/ working on are from real life incidents . Things that I have read, seen and experienced. Only Hamlet is an adaptation and Bas Ek pal was my first(and will be my only) inspired by an Almodovar film called Live Flesh.

With globalization on us, how open would you be to try directing in different geographies and different mediums?

I have been a traveller, and adapt to different cultures pretty easily. I love the idea of making films elsewhere but not just shooting songs….. but where the location becomes a part of the narration.

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