With non-mainstream films and complex subjects getting limelight and acceptance by audience, filmmaker Onir hopes his upcoming production "Chauranga", about class oppression in rural India, will benefit from the present scenario.
Onir says the successful run of films like "Masaan", "Talvar" and "Killa" is a very positive sign, especially for a filmmaker like him, who likes to tread on uncharted territory with his movies.
"There is a great amount of acceptance in the audiences now. Films like 'Talvar', 'Killa' and 'Masaan' have done well, despite not being mainstream. They have received great response. I think it is a very good time to release a film like 'Chauranga' because the audience is opening to stories like these," Onir told PTI.
"Chauranga" has been produced by Sanjay Suri, Onir and Mohan T Mulani. It stars Sanjay, Tannishtha Chatterjee Arpita Pal Chatterjee, Soham Maitra, Riddhi Sen, Dhritiman Chatterjee and will release on January 8, 2016.
The movie has been a resounding success at film festivals with wins at IFFLA 2015 and MAMI last year. For Onir, festival glory is great but the real satisfaction is to see the film reach its intended audience.
"It is a special project for me and Sanjay. It has been a very satisfying journey, the making of the film and the festival tours, and then finally we are able to bring it to the audience. The whole point of making a movie is to take it to the audience."
"Chauranga" has been written and directed by Bikas Ranjan Mishra, whom Onir met at Locarno script lab where both were participating with their respective films. The "My Brother Nikhil" helmer said the untold story of rural India is what attracted him to Bikas' work and it was then that he decided to back it.
"His script was beautiful and engrossing. It's about the world I knew little of and wanted to know more. It is set in rural India," Onir said.
"I am a very urban person, so it was a new tale for me. We don't realise that in rural India people are different from us. It is a whole different world out there, which one needs to understand."
The film also marks Onir's first production, which he has not directed. "It was a new experience for me. It is with a debutante director. I had to stick to Bikas' vision."
Onir has not directed a film since 2011 "I Am" and ending the dry spell for the director will be "Shab", which is eyeing a release next year post "Chauranga".
The filmmaker said he wanted "Shab" to be his debut film but things could not work out and he instead directed "My Brother Nikhil". However, he is happy that the film, which has been shot across four seasons in Delhi, is coming out now since he was able to give it the correct treatment.
"I wrote 'Shab' as my first film. I am happy that it is releasing now. The script has undergone some changes, it is a more complex story now. I have grown as a filmmaker and the film has turned out exactly the way I wanted it to."
"Shab" stars Raveena Tandon, Sanjay Suri, Gaurav Nanda, Arpita Pal.
Besides "Chuaranga" and "Shab", Onir's other directorial venture is "Veda", which is an adaptation of Shakespeare's 'Hamlet".