I wish I had written `Udaan`, says Anurag Kashyap

New Delhi: Most of his childhood was spent in hostels and that`s why filmmaker Anurag Kashyap felt a tinge of jealousy when he first read debutant director Vikramaditya Motwane`s script for `Udaan`, a coming-of-age story about a small town boy.

But the 37-year-old director is happy to have co-produced the film which was the only official Indian selection at this year`s Cannes Film Festival after a gap of seven years. The film is releasing on July 16.

"I am small town boy, who lived in hostels and have gone through the thoses changes that a small town boy goes through. Vikram is neither from a small city nor did he ever go to a boarding school. Ideally, I should have written that story but it never came to me. Naturally, I felt jealous of Vikram," Kashyap told reporters.

"If I like a story I want to steal it but it was not possible so I decided to produce it," Kashyap, who was born in Gorakhpur and grew up in several cities, including Varanasi and Saharanpur.

The director, known for his out-of-league films like `Black Friday`, `Dev D` and `Gulaal`, says Motwane hired him to write the dialogues for the movie in 2003 but when he failed to find a producer, Kashyap decided to step in. Motwane worked with Kashyap as a screenwriter for `Dev D`.

"Vikram signed me as a dialogue writer for `Udaan` in 2003. He borrowed money and paid me Rs 10 thousand. But when I produced the movie I paid him nothing," said Kashyap.

"He had tough time finding a producer but the industry is like that. If you don`t have big stars, they don`t want to put their money into your project. Since I had worked with Vikram I knew how good he was. So, I decided to produce it," Kashyap added.

The filmmaker, who is all set to direct `Bombay Velvet`, to be produced by Oscar-winner Danny Boyle and may star Bollywood star Aamir Khan, says they were not surprised when the film made it to Cannes` `Un Certain Regard` category.

"It did not surprise us because Vikram had made this film keeping in mind the international sensibilities. The film is about a teenage boy`s struggle with life, a subject which has universal resonance," said Kashyap about the movie, which stars newcomer Rajat Barmecha and television stars Ronit Roy and Ram Kapoor.

Ask him about the limited appeal of Indian cinema outside and Kashyap says that it is very "closed up".

"Indian cinema is very closed up. Our films don`t go beyond Indian diaspora. The advantages and disadvantages of the India cinema is the same. We are a very self-sustained market," he said, adding that he has been trying to break the barrier through his films.

"I have been trying to break that barrier for a long time because there was a time when my films were not releasing and people here thought I was making crazy films but there were people who thought otherwise. I was trying to bridge that gap because my survival depended on it," he said.

The director, who started his career as a writer, did not have an easy transition to direction as his `Black Friday` on Mumbai Bombings in 1993 faced ban and was released only recently. Another of his film `Paanch` remains shelved. But the filmmaker says he turned producer because he wants to helm new talent.

"I am going to make films that I believe in. I am involved in the creative aspects of the things while my friend Sanjay Singh will look after the business aspects. I am producing Sachin Kundalkar`s debut Hindi film and then there is Rahi Anil Barve`s who wants to make a horror film called `Tumbaad` and I am also producing Vikram`s next," he said.

Kashyap has already finished directing `That Girl in Yellow Boots`, starring Kalki Koechlin and Naseeruddin Shah, which will release by the end of the year. He is also planning to begin shooting on Bihar`s coal mines.

PTI

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