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Talking Movies

Q: Maverick Bengali director of Gandu and Tasher Desh

A Bengali filmmaker is attracting an audience for low-budget films that are a world away from glossy Bollywood extravaganzas. Tom Brook reports.

Bengali director Q is known as one of India’s most subversive filmmakers. Gandu, his movie about an aspiring rapper in Calcutta, was banned in its native country, while he directed a psychedelic fantasy, Tasher Desh, based on the writings of a 19th Century Bengali poet.

Yet his work is proving popular. Discussing Gandu, Q says: “Though the film was a Bengali film, though the film was made with practically no money, the film was black and white, and it had art house sensibilities... in spite of that, a few million Indians watched this film.”

The former commercial director’s non-traditional approach is paying off: Gandu has been distributed online and on DVD, winning awards at film festivals. Q tells Tom Brook about elitism in the film industry – and how he shot Tasher Desh using fluorescent lights usually hired to decorate wedding ceremonies.

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