IFFI 2022: Manish Mundra faces reality without qualms
Far away from the busy streets and glamour is a producer who takes off his rose-tinted glasses to see the reality of the world that we live in.
Looking around, the societal focus and message are to always look at all things in a positive light. And although positivity is the blueprint of an ideal world, the uncomfortable truth remains – we live in an unequal and unjust world.
Adjusting the spotlight on making films that will strike a chord in people’s souls, rather than films that will gain TRP ratings and showcase glamour, the producer turned director Manish Mundra addressed a press conference for his film Siya at the International Film Festival of India, Goa.
The panel included Dipanwit Dashmohapatra, Anupam Patnaik, Abhishek Agarwal, Anupam Kher and Manish Mundra.
The story of Siya is based on a real-life incident that took place in a village in North India. It is one of those movies that holds up a mirror to the injustice, pain and horror of rape victims that do not receive justice.
Through this film, we see the story of a young girl who has been raped by a powerful MLA, and her fight for justice against the patriarchal and judicial system, which is often controlled by the same rogues. Her fight is against those that think they can get away with their wrongdoings without having to pay the price for their actions.
“The most important thing that I look for when making a film is whether the story touches my soul or not. If the story lingers, then I know that it is the one. I always listen to my gut and make films as a passion, not a profession. The film not becoming a commercial success does not bother me as long as social awareness is created,” said Manish.
The director also spoke about India being a constant character in his films, and how he wishes to let people travel around India via his movies. Evergreen actor Anupam Kher also expressed his appreciation towards Mundra and his work, and said that he hopes to work with him in the years to come.
Siya was screened as a feature film in the section Indian Panorama at IFFI, Goa.
“All the films that I have been involved in are very soulful stories inspired by brave hearts from all over India,” he added.
When asked about considering making a film in Goa, he shared how he is on a constant lookout for new and real stories, and that if he gets the opportunity to, he would definitely make a film in Goa.
Although not a pessimist, Mundra is drawn towards the issues of society that go unnoticed and cease to obtain justice once the headlines have died down.
“Irrespective of the emotion, my focus is the truth. Some truths will be positive, while others may not. What matters to me is that when I sign off from this life having made 20 to 30 films, my audience should know that if they want to know the India of the 80s, 90s, 2000s or 2020s, watching a Manish Mundra film is the best way to understand India and what it stands for,” he concluded.