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Another director crosses over from TV to films

By Subhash K. Jha, IANS

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Satya BolIt isn't easy for people from TV to migrate to the big screen. Actor Shah Rukh Khan did it successfully, but for a director it's tougher -- ask debutant director Sanjay Upadhyay who took two years to put his "Satya Bol" together.

Upadhyay, who made hit soaps like "Hum Pardesi Ho Gaye" (which introduced Perizad Zorabian) and "Saaya", follows in the footsteps of Ananth Mahadevan and Anurag Basu who were kings of the small screen and are also trying to establish a foothold as feature filmmakers.

While Mahadevan has released one film "Dil Vil Pyar Vyar" and completed "Dil Mange More", Basu's "Saaya", "Murder" and "Tumse Achcha Kaun Hai" have had varied degrees of success.

Upadhyay has had an encouraging response to his film after the initial despondency.

He says, "I was earlier caught up in trying to direct my first feature film for another company, Metalite. When that fell through my world crashed. Then I got this chance to direct the film. And I gave it all I had got."

Satya BolAnd the results are pleasing. Though "Satya Bol" hasn't opened too well, critics have praised the film.

"That certainly feels good. I never expected such warm and positive reviews to 'Satya Bol'. While I was making the film I was repeatedly asked why I was making another cop film. I was aware that many cop films were being made.

"'Satya Bol' is neither the first nor the last film in the genre. I believe my take on the theme is my own. In any case how many stories are there to tell in mainstream Hindi cinema? I know lots of cop films have come and gone. The timing for my film is coincidental. While releasing 'Satya Bol', I was confident it would do well if people like it."

Upadhyay agrees that releasing his understated knock-out action film along with seven others is self defeating.

"What could we do? There's such a clutter of films. We just couldn't find an empty space for our film. I'm glad 'Satya Bol' has finally been released. It has taken me a long time to put together my first feature film. I feel it's a story that had to be told. And I'm glad 'Satya Bol' is my first film."

He says he was never tempted to make a teenybopper romance or a college flick like other debutants. "Having trained under Govind Nihalani in filmmaking I guess some of his sensibilities have seeped into me. I hope 'Satya Bol' is a step in the right direction."

Nihalani's "Ardh Satya" starring Om Puri as a cop is Upadhyay's favourite film.

Though he has other ideas for feature films, he doesn't intend to leave TV behind. "Rather, I appreciate and understand the importance of both media and hope to reconcile them in my creativity."


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