Majid Majidi: Satyajit Ray’s remarkable work inspired me to make BEYOND THE CLOUDS
Trailer of celebrated Iranian auteur Majid Majidi’s BEYOND THE CLOUDS was launched yesterday in Mumbai. At the launch event Majidi was asked about what inspired him to choose India to make his maiden feature film based in foreign country and the director very calmly replied, “I have learned a lot about India based on the works of remarkable Indian director Satyajit Ray so it was my dream to make a film in his land. His view point is very valuable to me and I love whatever he has done, so one of the main reasons behind making this film is my admiration for Satyajit Ray and his work.
Film’s lead actor Ishaan Khatter sharing about how he was shortlisted for this project shared, “He (Mr. Majidi) has a very interesting process of auditioning. He sent me and few others with phones on an assignment to shoot at various places and we were told to collect footage and briefed about what kind scenes were needed to be shot. We took it up as a project and gave him our respective footage, on the basis of that he chose me in this film.”
The young actor gushed about how his elder brother is like a father figure to him and when asked that now both of them are actors so does he see him as a competition to which he immediately replied, “Shahid is like a teacher, and he is a paternal figure in my life. I have learned so much by watching him so there’s no question of considering him as a competition in fact I would say we are a team.”
When asked about the pressure behind collaborating with foreign filmmakers film’s music composer A.R Rahman said, “My first experience of working with a foreign filmmaker was with Deepa Mehta and then I worked with Chinese filmmaker He Ping, so I am used to working with translators. The language of Cinema is universal and I always want things to influence me or take me away from the monotony of doing the same thing. So I always look forward to something which is exciting and make me push myself into the fire.”
The acclaimed filmmaker Majidi was even questioned about the importance of artists talking against the establishment and replied, “With regard to the social and political issues actually I always pay attention and highlight the human beings and the human values. Also it’s important to understand the situation. See Cinema is completely different from newspapers and other forms of media, It may happen that when you make a film and highlight a social subject or political issue but the next day scenarios can change and things will be different and not as important as before so this is the reason why I emphasize to focus on the human values more as these films can always be previewed and communicated with the audience. As an example I would like to mention CHILDREN OF HEAVEN I made it 20 years ago but it still can communicate with young generation so it’s the matter of communication.”
Majidi has cast fresh faces in his maiden Indian project and citing the reason behind that he said, “I have worked with professional actors in some of my films but because of the subject and also the storyline of this film it required new faces. I know that in Indian cinema industry it’s important to have famous faces and I would love to do that but when you are making a film it’s important that there should be a connection between the character and the person who is going to play it.”