New Delhi: After his critically acclaimed `Harud` (Autumn), actor-director Aamir Bashir is currently working on his second film `Winter`, which is again set in Kashmir and is told through a woman`s perspective.
Bashir, a familiar face on television and in Bollywood films like `Split Wide Open`, `A Wednesday` and `The Great Indian Butterfly`, says his home state Kashmir was the obvious choice when it came to telling a story through his camera.
"It is early to talk about it as I am still writing but `Winter` is colder and darker in a sense. The story was always going to be about Kashmir. I got this idea during a conversation that I had with a friend of mine. We were talking about the story of Odysseus and Penelope and how she manipulated and deflected the attention of suitors while awaiting the return of her husband.
"We have taken this as an inspiration. In Penelope`s case, the husband that she is waiting is the king but there is no such thing in our story as the dynamics are completely different," Bashir told PTI in an interview.
His feature debut `Harud`, about a young man and his family trying to come to terms with the disappearance of his older brother in conflict-torn Kashmir, created quite a buzz in international circles and was selected for Toronto Film Festival, BFI London Film festival and Mumbai Film festival. The film also won the National Film Award recently.
Bashir produced `Harud` with cinematographer Shankar Raman through their Chasingtales production. Having struggled as an independent filmmaker with his debut film, Bashir says he is coming to his second project with a lot of baggage.
"I was not trained as a filmmaker so there were things that could have been done in a better way. I won`t call them mistakes... It was more about ignorance and there was nobody to guide us. There are things that I felt were missing after watching the film. I will be more careful about things this time," he says.
"It is not about making money but we will think about
making the second one more viable without compromising on the way I want to tell my story. If I start thinking about making money, I might as well make a `proposal` film."
Bashir is aware that embarking on `Winter` would be a more difficult thing to do.
"`Harud` took a lot of time because I never thought of making a film for a long time and then it just happened but `Winter` will be more difficult.
"I have to start from the scratch again and I am coming to it with a lot of baggage which was not there while making `Harud`. We were aware that this will be the only time when we will be able to make the film the way we wanted," he says.
Talking about why he picks up titles like `Autumn` and `Winter` for his movies, Bashir says such titles provide him a landscape to set his story.
"I miss the easy access to nature that I had in Kashmir like climbing the mountains or swimming in the Dal lake. Mumbai does not have seasons like autumn or winter. I miss that about Kashmir," he says.
It was an instinctive decision to take up direction for Bashir but now he is keen to take it forward.
"I enjoyed directing `Harud`, probably more than acting, which is purely for commercial reasons and to make the films that I eventually want to make. I hope to take it forward," he says.
Kashmir has been the subject of a number of Bollywood movies but it is only recently that Kashmiri directors have started coming forward to tell their story.
"It is already happening in writing, people are writing about Kashmir both in fiction and non-fiction. But films are difficult. You can`t make a film sitting alone in a room and that`s not the priority now. There are documentaries also. Raja Shabir Khan`s `Shepherds of Paradise` won the best documentary award this year."