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As a creative person, you are always in the making: Nandita Das

In conversation with Nandita Das about her 60-second film ‘The Cuber’, which features her son

Aatreyee Mohanta | Published 04.12.21, 03:58 PM
A still from ‘The Cuber’

A still from ‘The Cuber’

Nandita Das, the firebrand actress from films like Fire, Earth and Before it Rains, is now more focused on her directorial work after Firaaq and Manto. Recently, she created a cinema reel on Instagram in collaboration with Voot Studios & Tipping Point called The Cuber, featuring her son Aman. My Kolkata caught up with Nandita on the eve of her Kolkata visit, to discuss the 60-second film.

MK: “My first time with the vertical format” — what convinced you to try this format?

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Nandita Das: I like to experiment with form and this was an opportunity to try something new. The idea of visualising in a vertical format is a challenge as one is used to the traditional horizontal one. But then seeing the frame vertically was exciting! We take photos from our phone in a vertical format but when it comes to video, our hands automatically change their orientation. So, this time, the hands and the brain both had to change!

MK: “Unearth their passion” — Was that always the theme? And how did you decide to focus on The Cuber?

Nandita Das: The theme was actually “in the making”. I have always believed in the journey more than the destination. As a creative person, you are always in the making. And to pursue anything with a deeper interest, is the story of unearthing passion. So, seeing my son cubing all day, I thought, this would make for a fun little film.

MK: It's your son’s story, told by you — how easy or tough was it to get your son to ‘act’ in your film?

Nandita Das: As soon as one calls out ‘action’, I wear the director’s hat and on ‘cut', it’s back to being the mother! It is easy as you know the ‘actor’ very well…but at the same time it is tough because you know the ‘actor’ too well! So, I knew I had to draw the line between being a director and a mother. He is a natural, so apart from a few giggles in the beginning, he performed with ease. And he got to do a lot of cubing which anyway he loves.

MK: Do you think this is a one-off for you or is the short video format something you will seriously consider from now on?

Nandita Das: I don't plan so much. This fell into my lap and I enjoyed playing with it. But I am always open to new things, new challenges. I don’t see format being a reason to not do a film, as for me it is more about being able to tell a story that would resonate, that has something to say.

Last updated on 04.12.21, 03:58 PM
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