JADOO – A chat with Director Amit Gupta in Berlin
Posted by Vivek on February 12, 2013 | No Comments
Filmmaker Amit Gupta’s JADOO, is one of the anticipated selections at the Berlin Film Festival. In keeping with the finest tradition of films coming from UK, Amit talks about what inspired him to make a “foodie.” Turns out this time the inspiration came from close to “home.” Here is Amit:
Continuing on the amazing tradition of Anglo South Asian themed movies, such as Bend It, My Beautiful Laudrette, East is East, etc, how much is JADOO, a film about South Asians in UK, as opposed to life in the present, in the UK?
I hope the film is about both. We are now such an integral part of the fabric of the UK that making a film set in a predominantly South Asian community, like Belgrave in Leicester, still means that you are making a film about life in Britain today.
What I’ve tried to do is tell a simple story that could take place in any community, but have the detail as specific as possible, which perhaps adds an extra layer of resonance for people of South Asian origin.
You talk about growing up watching Bollywood, how much of that is an influence in the look and feel of JADOO?
Watching Indian cinema has been incredibly influential on the look and feel of the film. I shot Jadoo on 35mm and tried give the film a warmth that I felt was present in the Bollywood cinema that had the biggest influence on me – that of the late 70s and 80s. I even tried to shoot the flashbacks very much like the flashbacks of old Bollywood movies. The soundtrack contains a number of songs that my parents used to play to me, so in many ways feels like the soundtrack of my childhood. Songs like Yeh Dosti, Mehbooba Mehbooba, Aap Jaisa Koi Meri, Zindagi Ka Safar – great, great tracks, some recorded before I was born, but still fantastic today.
Given that Gurinder also made a “food” centric movie a while back, did that bother the makers, that it might be construed as a similar “foodie” movie?
I’m ashamed to say I haven’t actually seen Gurinder’s food movie, despite being a big fan of food movies like Big Night, Babette’s Feast and Tampopo!
I just think there’s just a fantastic tradition of food films, possibly due to the fact that food is such a great metaphor for family. If my film continues in this tradition, I’d be very happy about that. It never really came up as a question. We were all so focused on the story.
The reaction on being selected for Berlin?
I’m absolutely delighted about the film being selected for Berlin. It’s such a competitive festival that to be invited is an enormous honour. I also love the fact that a little movie about a South Asian family in Leicester will be playing in such a grand setting. After the screening one of Germany’s greatest chefs, Tim Raue, who has 2 Michelin Stars, is cooking a dinner inspired by the film. How cool is that?
What are plans post Berlin?
Aside from my commitments to the release of Jadoo, I’m writing two new films – a UK thriller and a comedy largely set in India. I hope to shoot one of them towards the end of year.