Is it important to study cinema formally?
In an institute, there is relatively more scope to establish one’s individuality. To construct an effective cinematic quality, you need craft and discipline. I learnt filmmaking from my brother who went to FTII. I had made a pact with him that he would pass on whatever he learnt to me. I roamed around the FTII campus a lot and acquired the institute’s training indirectly.
How do you treat your female characters?
I don’t treat women condescendingly and respect their fundamental right to be wrong. I’ve been associated with strong women, like my grandmother who lived on her own after separating from her husband. I strive to reflect the endless capabilities of women. They have hurt as well as loved me but being a heterosexual single man, I will always find them intriguing. I don’t judge. Women have the right to be independent as well as to lead a life of household chores, if they desire. They need not carry the burden of stereotypes.
What are your political ideologies
My grandfather, Dwarka Prasad Mishra, was the chief minister of Madhya Pradesh, powerful, popular and close to Mrs Gandhi; but I walked away from him. I never told anyone that I was related to him and preferred, rather, to be a peon. Power is ephemeral. I am a teacher’s son; my mathematician father was more of a left-leaning Nehruvian. I am politically aware and active but do not want to follow a conventional political career. My political ideologies are temporary because life is always in a state of chaos.
How is small budget independent cinema faring in India?
The audience is developing now. Give the industry five more years and you will see a revolution. Indian cinema will come of age. The youth are no longer touching feet and subscribing to hierarchies. You can see their ability to question when they march out on the Delhi streets without a leader. All these will manifest on to the screen too. We will move towards substantial path-breaking cinema in five years.