"Being an independent filmmaker is a tough task"
When Ashim Ahluwalia set out to capture the C-grade cinema industry of mid-80s Mumbai in "Miss Lovely", little did he know that his debut feature film, made without any support, will go places.
He is back from the screening of the film in the 'Uncertain Regard' section of Cannes film festival to rave reviews and two important distribution deals with Fortissimo Films and Ad Vitam.
But it has not been an easy journey for Ashim, who feels Indian cinema lacks support for directors who try to experiment with their craft.
"My film comes from a completely new space. Directors who are trying for new things should be given opportunities to break new grounds. It is important to have cinema that is trying to do different things and not just relying on the past," Ashim told PTI.
The director had set out to make a documentary on the soft-porn industry but he decided to convert it into a movie as people related to the industry were reluctant to come on camera.
The film was made almost entirely by support from outside India and while Ashim enjoyed the freedom, he admits it was a hard and lonely road.
"Being an independent filmmaker is very hard and it is like travelling on a lonely road. You don't have support but at the same time you have so much freedom. What you don't have in support you gain in freedom.
It is a double edged sword I would say. It is much harder for me to make films," he says. Ashim is now busy giving the final touches to the film for its September-October release in Europe.
"The film had just finished when we showed it at Cannes. There is a lot of finishing work to be done because Indian distributors are also keen to see it. Since we showed the rough cut, I felt it was a bit long at some places and we need to work a bit on sound.
"In fact, I was in two minds about showing my film at Cannes because it was not complete but they thought it was an important film and the response turned out to be great." PTI