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Away from conventional lines

VIJAY GEORGE

Anup Kurian, director of `Manasarovar,' on films, finance and film-making.



FASCINATED BY FILMS: Anup Kurian

Anup Kurian desists dividing films into arty and commercial lines and believes that there is only "good or bad cinema."

His much acclaimed debut `Manasarovar' was the closing film of the second Cochin International Film Festival.

The film had been screened at prestigious festivals in London, Fukuoka, Shanghai and at the International Film Festival of India held in Goa.

The film won quite a number of awards, including the prestigious Aravindan Puraskaram and the Gollapudi Srinivas National Award for best debut director in India and the Best Picture award at the International Film Festival of Mumbai.

`Manasarovar' is an intense romantic tale "with youthful energy." The film has music by the Irish band Random and most of the crew are from the 33-year-old director's batch at Film and Television Institute of India (FTII). The title `Manasarovar' stands for the truth and the eternal yearning for answers and clarity in one's life, explains the director.

A bit of biography

Is the film autobiographical? "As each story has some elements from the author's life, there is perhaps a bit of me in all the characters in the film. The romantic scenes are fictionalised accounts. But most writings will have a frame of reference and naturally, I have met people who are like the characters in the film. More importantly, the actors have added more dimension to their characters with their intelligence and talent," says Anup.

As films have always fascinated him Anup pursued his dreams after completing his post-graduation in Computer Applications. Anup then completed his diploma in TV and film production from FTII, Pune.

"During my college days, I was good in still photography and wanted to become a cinematographer. But my preferences changed," he says.

Anup worked for MTV for a few months before moving to the United State where he set up Visual Possibility Inc., with his brother Arun and Satish Menon, director of the award winning film, `Bhavum.'

Anup's film was shot extensively in Maharashtra, Kerala and Himachal Pradesh.

How did he market the film? "As the audience for films like this are a minority, the revenue from theatres will not meet the expenses of the film. The TV and DVD rights can do the trick perhaps. The film ran well in the United Kingdom and in metros like Bangalore though the response in Mumbai was affected on account of bad timing."

Anup is now working on a script, "Definitely without a deadline. The writing process will go on until I am absolutely sure that it is ready to be shot."

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