Ram Madhvani: The humanist filmmaker

The national award winning filmmaker is riding high on the success of his previous film ‘Neerja’. The budding director has his eye set of the ruling Khans and is just gearing up to lock his next project. He even has a dream team in mind but is a bit superstitious about the revealing it.  Excerpts from the interview:

People who are now in their 20’s are not well aware of ‘Neerja’ and her sacrifice. Do you want to continue making such films that bring forward people stories on such people?

No, making a movie like Neerja is not a social cause. Some subjects interest you and what is more important is what you want to speak about. I want to speak about a mother daughter relationship in this film. It was more about how a family can cope with the loss of their child. I want to be a humanist filmmaker who makes stories on human issues and situation.

So you want to venture into the rom-com genre as well? Possibly with the top Khan’s?

Everybody in India wants to work with the Khan’s and I am just one of them. I would be very fortunate if they would even consider working with me. I am very fond of them and I have even worked with Aamir. Also worked with Shah Rukh in commercials. So, it is up to them, I have no power, I am nobody.

So do you have a dream team in mind?

A lot will depend on what the subject is. I do have a few thing that are rotating in my head, once they are ready I will put a wish list down and then I will go knocking on doors and hope that they will accept it. A lot of it will also depend on if they like the project and are excited not only to work with me but also in the project.

Any story you have been focusing on a lot right now?

The reason that I don’t want to answer that right now is that I am a bit superstitious. For me, it is just like when you are pregnant and you don’t reveal it until you couple months. It is better if I get it off the ground than talk about it right now.

There was a time when filmmakers were very competitive, but now all seem to be in a mutual admiration club are you also a part of it?

Yes, I am. Even in advertising if someone has done a great piece of work then I will SMS or call the person and say that it is a great piece of work. Of course, you are envious, but you shouldn’t do that without generosity. First of all, anyone who goes out there and makes films in itself hats off. So, there are filmmakers that I genuinely respect. I have been lucky to have been successful with Neerja, but people have made 5-6 films and have gone through the ups and downs of the movie and hats off to that.

Who was the last person you appreciated?

Kabir Khan. I really liked Salman in Bajranji and Tubelight and I really like the movie.

There many newcomers expected to make their debut soon like Sara Ali Khan and Jhanvi Kapoor, so are you looking forward to working with any of them?

Yes, I am very interested in working with the youth. Even my son comes from that generation so would love to work with all new talents.

If you had a chance would like to launch anyone?

I don’t want to be in the launching business. I don’t like that word either. If they work in the project then great otherwise no.

We all are aware of nepotism in the acting industry. But what about behind the camera, does nepotism prevail there as well?

I have no problems with nepotism as long as they are talented. Don’t work with them if they are not talented. This is not just in Bollywood but even in Hollywood Francis Ford Coppola worked with his sister, father, and nephews. If your family is talented then give them work otherwise don’t.

How was it working with Aamir Khan?

Aamir is someone who I enjoy working with. He is like a friend and I would be blessed if we could work together again. Again it depends on the project that we both feel is correct. I would be very fortunate to work with him again.

Is it true then what people say that he gets too involved in every aspect of the project?

No, if you tell him where you want to go. So, first, you have to be clear and have to take him through it. And I think that it is only fair. Even I would do that with my team.

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