Kolkata: A decade has passed since Aparna Sen decided to make a comedy film, but the ace filmmaker and winner of several National Awards is still struggling to convince a producer to fund her dream project.
"Getting a national award and getting a producer are two different things. People think that I am a good director but that doesn`t mean that the producers will put in their money into my films. They think that they will not profit without big stars," Sen told reporters.
Rated as one of India`s best cerebral film-makers, Sen has won the National Film Award twice for the best director.
The 65-year-old Padma Shri who has made cinematic gems like `36 Chowringhee Lane` (1981), `Mr and Mrs Iyer` (2001) and `15 Park Avenue` (2005) is trying hard to make a film on novelist Shirshendu Mukhopadhyay`s Bengali story `Goyenar Baksho` or `Jewellery Box`.
"I really want to make it. I have been trying for the past few years, but it is very difficult to get funding for my type of films," she said.
Bollywood actor Govinda had reportedly agreed to play the lead as the hedonistic son of a zamindar`s family who turns a blind eye as the family crumbles to bankruptcy. Actress Soha Ali Khan was also approached to star in it.
The story is about three generations of women and their changing attitudes viewed through a box of jewels. Despite getting critical acclaim and stupendous success at film festivals, her last two films `The Japanese Wife` and `Iti Mrinalini` had failed to excite the box office.
However, she is confident that if she manages to make `Jewellery Box` one day, the film will be a runaway hit.
Honoured with the Satyajit Ray Lifetime Achievement Award in 2001, the eminent director, who was one of the top Bengali film actresses of her time, has made only nine films in her three-decade-long career as a director.
"I don`t know how to convince people. I cannot go to a producer and say come make my film. I am very bad at selling myself," said Sen who regards making a typical Bollywood `masala` movie against her sensibilities.
Daughter of veteran critic and filmmaker Chidananda Dasgupta and mother of Bollywood actress Konkona Sen, she has also served on many juries at international film festivals like the Moscow International Film Festival and the Hawaii International Film Festival.