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Wasseypur to Cannes: The rise of Anurag Kashyap’s Gangs!

By Bikas Bhagat | Last Updated: Saturday, June 2, 2012 - 17:27
Bikas Bhagat

I found it really fascinating to see a man from the small town of Gorakhpur flaunt and hurl his <i>gamcha</i> (red towel symbolic to the Indian heartland) at the world’s most prestigious film festival – The Cannes, as he went around giving bytes to global media about his films to be screened at the fest.

The unabashed non-conformist had made a style statement which sure would have left the fashion gurus in India dumbfounded, but then, since when did Anurag Kashyap start caring about the ethics of fashion? He is best known for his passion for Indian cinema and perhaps that is what drives him.

‘Gangs of Wasseypur’ (GOW), an Anurag Kashyap film was selected from India to be screened at the official section of Cannes this year. He is now completely on a roll as not just GOW, but his production ‘Peddlers’ also made it to the non-paid screening section at the recently concluded film fest. That is some achievement.

From being an outsider in Bollywood to have earned recognition of a world class auteur, Kashyap has come a long way. After seeing GOW, one of the reviewers at Cannes commented that Kashyap has put Tarantino in a corner!

Kashyap has now become the face of India’s independent and auteur cinema. With nine films in production this year besides many shorts films, he is the most prolific film-maker we have seen in a long time. And with the cinematic excellence that his films offer, he is could be called the Renaissance filmmaker of India.

With every new film of director Anurag Kashyap, the lines between mainstream and parallel cinema seem to blur. Ironically, the man who goes by the epithet ‘King of the Dark Cinema’, Anurag feels that the kind of cinema which he makes is but light hearted caper in actual sense when compared to the ‘dark’ movies made in the West.

Not only has the maverick director been instrumental in presenting Indian cinema at international fests in a grand way, the critically acclaimed filmmaker also seems to have designed a very smart and innovative method to develop his films. He calls it crowd financing.

After being given a cold shoulder by the bigwigs of the industry, Anurag drifted towards the international market to fund his projects and he is known to have build a pool of dynamic youngsters who generate cash straight out from Facebook!

Thanks to various film festivals across the globe, Anurag today doesn’t need a studio to fund an independent movie. He says, “I get money from Germany, from France. Like ‘Peddlers’, they made it with money on Facebook. We just put it out that we need partners, giving 10 lakh each. In two days, we had the money that we needed. So, the movie has become a fund. So that when it goes to Cannes and gets sold, they get returns.”

Kashyap is building a reputation for himself and his fellow film-makers, with his repertoire of films which is similar to what it was for Satyajit Ray and Mira Nair at one point of time.

We all know that Anurag has had his share of turkeys, but this time he is the one who is calling the shots at the international podium. He truly deserves to be congratulated for making us proud for all the amazing things that we have been hearing about his film ‘Gangs of Wasseypur’. GOW has become the first Bollywood movie which has received a standing ovation at the Cannes Film Festival.

It can safely be said that Anurag Kashyap is back with a bang and its echo can be heard from the coal mines of Dhanbad (where ‘…Wasseypur’ is set) to Cannes!

First Published: Saturday, June 2, 2012 - 17:27

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