Director Sriram Raghavan may not have a big filmography yet, but he sure impresses us with the films he dishes out every now and then. Most recently, his film 'Andhadhun' starring Ayushmann Khurrana, Tabu, and Radhika Apte, floored audiences and critics alike. The film went on to win numerous awards, including the National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Hindi.
Sriram Raghavan was present at the 50th International Film Festival of India (IFFI) 2019 in Goa, participating in panel discussions and interviews. Filmibeat's Managing Editor Shweta Parande caught up with Sriram Raghavan for an exclusive chat, wherein the filmmaker spoke about the growing culture of films in India, about IFFI, as also Andhadhun, and his upcoming project starring Varun Dhawan, which is based on Param Vir Chakra recipient Arun Khetarpal. Read on and also watch the video interview here.
Filmibeat: Have you been to IFFI before? How has it progressed over the years?
Sriram Raghavan: I've been to IFFI at least 15 times so far, in the 50 years. It has just got bigger with bigger crowds and many students. I'm very happy to see that so many film students are here, and there is so much film culture from all over the country. I just saw one South Indian film made by a fresh director and new actors. I think it's because of the festivals that these kinds of movies are being made. It is the culture of films which is happening thanks to festivals.
Filmibeat: Can you tell us something about 'Andhadhun' post the movie? Have you now got over it and got on to the next one which stars Varun Dhawan?
Sriram Raghavan: 'Andhadhun' released last year. It's been more than a year since it released, so now I have to move on. It's just that the film has got so much appreciation and love. This year was great. I've been going to festivals and talking about the film. It went to China and it was successful there. But it's high time I move on. I've already moved on. We are working on another script and we are casting it. The prep is going on. We hope to start in March (2020).
Filmibeat: This is the movie with Varun Dhawan in it where he will be playing the Param Vir Chakra awardee Arun Khetarpal. Tell us something about working with Varun in this movie and 'Badlapur'. Is your process with him different than it is with Saif Ali Khan who has also done good movies with you?
Sriram Raghavan: The process is the same. It's just that when he (Varun Dhawan) was doing 'Badlapur', he was not such a big star that he is now. So I keep telling him that he is not a star for me, he is somebody that nobody knows and even I don't know him. So we are treating him like a newcomer.
Filmibeat: Tell us something about the 50th IFFI. What kind of films have you watched here?
Sriram Raghavan: Unfortunately, I have not been able to watch many movies because I have been doing panel discussions. But there are terrific movies such as 'Parasite' and 'Pain And Glory'. Some of these movies I have already watched at MAMI Mumbai Film Festival 2019. There is a good crowd here (at IFFI) and I'm enjoying meeting people.
Filmibeat: Do you have a message for film students or mass communication students?
Sriram Raghavan: Be at it to get a chance because that is the only way. I passed out of the institute (Film and Television Institute of India, Pune), and it took me 17 years to make my first film. But today, it won't take you so much time because there are so many media outlets available such as digital platforms and so on. When we began, it was only film. So, just go ahead and make your films!
Watch the video interview of Sriram Raghavan here!