Kolkata: 'Qissa' director Anup Singh considers Ritwik Ghatak as his teacher and says he is in awe of the maestro's 'Titas Ekti Nadir Naam'.
"I do visit Ghatak on a daily basis. But I am not Ritwik though my characters too speak about displacement," the Geneva-based Singh told PTI here.
His film 'Ekti Nadir Naam' is on Ghatak and Singh considers his internationally acclaimed film 'Qissa' (Story) as an extension of it.
'Qissa', which talks about partition and the dispossessed, will be commercially released in the country tomorrow after a two-year wait.
Speaking about it, Singh, here on the occasion of special screening of the Netpac winner for international Asian films, said "For me it is like celebrating independent cinema."
"The film actually deals with the journey of sub-alterns ... The river's course can't be bound. So do the lives of people. If you look at our history after partition, communal violence struck a number of times and people got displaced," he said.
'Qissa' seeks to debunk fixed ideas and typical notion of identity, Singh said. "We forget the truth of being human. There is a little bit of Hindu, little bit of Buddhist, little bit of Sikh, little bit of Muslim in all of us. So why do we allow us to be bracketed by separate identities."
About casting Irrfan as the protagonist of the film, he "Though Irrfan does not speak Punjabi, I chose him as I felt as an actor he celebrates the idea of being a refugee."
"It is more due to his spirit than his looks. He constantly improvises," said the director.
'Qissa' is a 2013 Indian-German production and will be simultaneously released online and by DVD. It had been screened in the Contemporary World Cinema section at the Toronto International Film Festival and the Netpac Award for World or International Asian Film.