‘THE GOOD ROAD’ has failed to make India’s official entry in the Oscars 2014 nominations list in the Best Foreign Picture Category, but Ajita Suchitra Veera’s ‘BALLAD OF RUSTOM’ is shortlisted for Oscars 2014 in Best Picture Contention from 3000 entries worldwide. Ajita Suchitra Veera is writer, producer and director of the film. She is on a mission to introduce her film to the Indian audiences.
What is BAALAD OF RUSTOM?
BALLAD OF RUSTOM is a poetic 115 minutes tale of a nondescript telephone repairer Rustom who has knack for scientific experiments. The film was fully shot on KODAK VISION3 Color Negative Films 5207 - 250D and Vision 3 5219 - 500T on ARRI 535B on cinemascope format by Shanti Bhushan Roy Cinematographer with live sync-sound. It was an aesthetic and artistic decision by me on film and create a visually different scheme for the movie. The negative went through a processing technique called bleach bypass, to create a unique look. I took 4 years to complete the film with my particular choice of location and lighting. The cast was carefully selected to lend authenticity to the characters. The powerful and evocative score was evolved over 2 years, with extensive collaboration between me and composer Andrew T Mackay.
What is story of Rustom?
Rustom is a silent character. He is a young imaginative man working without any great aspirations, or ambition in a small government office, in a remote township in India, leads a wandering life and falls in love with young painter and meets strangers on his journey and shares his small dreams with his friend and travels into his dream world in this beautiful and magical countryside, which is slowly disappearing. You can say, the film is about imagination, dreams of passion for life, love, hope, despair & conflicting philosophies of a few people in a countryside township in India.
You have used a technique called ‘Bleached By Pass’, Can you enlighten about it?
‘Bleach By Pass is a technique where you retain the silver on the negative in color film, so that you have an additional Black and white layer over the color image. This produces a desiderated image with high contrast and gain which creates very special look. I was particular about this desaturated color palette for my film to create the surreal atmosphere of Rustom’s dream world of technology, nature and his own subconscious.
Did you face any challenges during the making of film?
The film is constructed in a very different way, so obviously it not easy making a film which is highly visual, philosophical and not a strict narrative yet. It’s a deeply philosophical film of India. Me and my crew shot it at Coorg in Karnataka. There were several challenges of raising funds, shooting in right locations and finding right cast. But I love challenges.
What is your commercials distribution aspect for the BALLAD OF RUSTOM?
The films story is very near to me. When you watch sure you will get it near with you. I have made a good film and always I think a good film will do good business, I have so far financed my own film but I now want to approach big studios like Disney, Sony classic, Fox Searchlight , UTV, TV18 or Eros to become the release partners. I want to show my film to all Indians.
· Shaami M. Irfan