(tg/kj) One of India’s great film makers influenced Mangesh Joshi to become a director. But it was also the Greek film maker Theo Angelopolous, who made his impact while Joshi taking his career steps. During the Stuttgart Film Festival, he presented his new movie “Lathe Joshi” which is spoken in Marathi with English subtitles. We had the opportunity to speak with Mangesh.
Welcome to the 14th Indian Film Festival in Stuttgart, Mangesh! We are happy having you here today with us. How did you like the film festival so far? What was your impression and have you been to Germany or even Stuttgart before?
This is my first time in Stuttgart and in Germany as well. I love it here and I like also the way the film festival is organized, it’s beautiful. Everything is so well managed. It’s nice to be part of this festival with the focus on Indian cinema. And I see that lots of European people having interest towards Indian cinema. They want to know the Indian stories which is incredible actually. It is good that we can spread Indian cinema across the border. It is good that the European people and German people are liking it. We try to go beyond Bollywood because people mostly think that Indian cinema is all about Bollywood cinema. But it is beyond that actually. And we do have our own stories to tell and we also believe in realistic cinema. Good that the audience is coming together here and enjoying Indian cinema, they are understanding Indian culture altogether. And as you know we have diverse culture also. Like my film is set in Maharashtra so they will understand through my film the culture of Maharashtra. And I think that is what I want actually when telling my stories. The audience should also learn about my part of the country.
You just talked about Bollywood and beyond. This festival, in the very beginning, was known as the ‘Bollywood and beyond’ festival before it was changed to the ‘Indian Film Festival’. If you are talking about Marathi films, we have already had various film makers and actors in Stuttgart from the Marathi film industry before. Are there any persons which influenced your career in general or especially from this area? What have been as well your personal highlights in the past?
I was mostly influenced or maybe impressed by European cinemas rather than Marathi films. Of course we have great Marathi films over there but I’m very fond of European cinemas, especially Greek films. I’m a huge fan of a film maker called Theo Angelopolous (03:00:00), he is a Greek film maker and he has a huge impact on me concerning the rhythm of the films. I always wanted to be a film maker since childhood even though I did my chemical engineering. I quit my job and came into this profession. There are some film makers who had an impact on me like Satyajit Ray, Hrithik Ghatan (03:29:00). And as well Shantaram who is a fantastic film maker from Maharashtra. And Damble, Fathe Lal, the people from Prabhat film company they were wonderful. So all of them have a huge impact on me. While I was growing I used to watch a lot of films. And I got always fascinated by this idea that you can tell your stories on the big screens and people will come, buy a ticket and watch your stories.
… even in Stuttgart!
Yes, even in Stuttgart! It’s lovely to watch when people are standing in a queue and after that people come to you and say how much they liked your film – it’s really incredible. It’s fun to be film maker then!
Can you tell us about your upcoming projects and films which we might watch in one of the next Indian film festivals in Stuttgart?
Right now I’m writing a script. It’s too early to say about anything. But this film has been produced by me as well. As an editor my work has been done but as a producer my work is still there. Because I had to release the film, I have to see that it reaches to my audience as well in theatres so that people can come and watch films in theatres. And Marathi audience is usually my target audience. A film festival is just a bonus I guess. You send your film to the film festivals and people across the globe they like the film and they can connect to your film – that is a lovely thing. But then your film has to be released in theatres so that people of my own hometown and in Maharashtra as well should watch the film. So I’m looking forward to release the film in my own country. Once it is done with the financials with that then I’m thinking about making another film.
Great, so we are hoping to welcome you again here with your new films. Now if you would describe this festival with only three words, which words would you chose?
It’s very difficult to describe this wonderful festival with three words. But I would say it is energetic, people are so passionate about the films and the atmosphere is lovely. So you can say it’s passionate, energetic and lovely – this can be the three words which describe the festival best.
I would really thank you for your time and the interesting interview. We hope to see you soon.
Thank you, thanks a lot!