Anand Gandhi`s `Ship of Theseus` creates waves at Toronto fest

New Delhi: Debutante Anand Gandhi has made quite a stir at the Toronto international film festival with his very personal, very cerebral film `Ship of Theseus`, which explores complex issues of identity, responsibility and death through the Greek paradox.

Gandhi, who has been developing the film for past three years, is being hailed as the new promising talent in the `new wave` of Indian cinema.

The 32-year-old director says he is happy to be part of the change through this film, which has admirers like Shekhar Kapoor, Anurag Kashyap and Fortissmo Films as co-producers.

Gandhi, on his part, feels that Indian audience is ready for the "cinema that talks intelligently, is more artistic and challenging".

The filmmaker, a well-known playwright, says he is cinematically exploring ideas that have haunted him in his journey.

"I don`t think difficulty of expressibility of an idea should discourage us from discussing it in cinema rather it should be encouraged. We should invest ourselves in a culture that encourages that kind of creative engagement, that kind of dialogue and challenge," Gandhi told PTI over phone from Toronto.

The film has received glowing reviews after its screening at TIFF with festival`s artistic director Cameron Bailey calling it one of this year`s hidden gems.

Gandhi`s film explores four different stories -- of a brilliant but blind photographer, a monk`s whose ethics are put to test, an obsessive compulsive clockmaker with an ailing heart and a young stock broker who gets trapped in illegal organ trade racket.

If an object has any or all of its parts replaced, does it remain the same object? is the paradox that Plutarch wrote in his book `Life of Theseus` and Gandhi found a great metaphor in it for his story.

"There have been lots of ideas that have fascinated me for a long time. Ship of Theseus has got a very interesting problem of identity and change. The idea that a human changes through a period of time brings us to the question of identity. We also face the question of responsibility in a constantly shifting, changing scenario. The film is a series of interesting problems," Gandhi said.

The filmmaker says most of the ideas that he is exploring in the film come from the dilemmas that he has faced in his life but he is not trying to find an answer through this movie.

"I think if we start understanding the quesitons and rephrasing them in a more relevant way, we would begin to answer them. A lot of philosophical questions are rhetoric in nature. If you find the right question, you already start to find the right answer," he added.

The film stars Sohum Shah, who debuted in `Baabarr`, and Egyptian Aida Elkashef, a second generation filmmaker and Neeraj Kabi as the monk.

"Sohum has been a great discovery and very important in getting this film made. He is also starring in the other films that we are doing. The second film from our production house is a period horror `Tumbad` which is 60 per cent complete. I have also started working on my second directorial," Gandhi said.