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Urban India lures Bollywood, global audience

Even before Danny Boyle's 'Slumdog Millionaire' made Mumbai slums a lucrative option for filmmakers, a new crop of directors in Bollywood has been trying to bring the urban realities back in Indian cinema.

PTI|
Oct 13, 2010, 01.15 PM IST
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NEW DELHI: Even before Danny Boyle's 'Slumdog Millionaire' made Mumbai slums a lucrative option for filmmakers, a new crop of directors in Bollywood has been trying to bring the urban realities back in Indian cinema.

But the astounding success and eight Oscars to Boyle's film has helped the new wave of independent filmmaking in finding a global acceptance and an audience base, earlier denied to them.

This change is reflected in the four Indian films selected for Toronto International film festival this year, except for Aamir Bashir's 'Autumn', all three had an urban setting.

Aamir Khan's wife Kiran Rao premiered her debut film 'Dhobi Ghat' as 'Mumbai Diaries' in the festival.

The film, Rao says, is the sum total of her experiences in the city, which has been her home for the past fifteen years.

"Through my film I wanted to explore the idea of class in Indian society and I chose Mumbai because it is the most cosmopolitan city and people come here to forge new identities and new future. Our films have always flouted the idea that love conquers all, is it really true? This is why I have four characters, whose destinies collide in the city," Rao said.

While Rao is romancing the Mumbai rains and its absurdities, Anurag Kashyap's 'That Girl In Yellow Boots', which was seen by some 7000 people at TIFF, looks at 'Maximum City' from the eyes of an outsider.

Kashyap, a leading name in alternative cinema with his gritty movies like 'Black Friday', 'Gulal' and 'Dev D', narrates the story through the eyes of Anglo-Indian girl Ruth who comes to Mumbai in search of her Bengali father. Kalki Koechlin, who has also written the story, plays Ruth in the thriller.

Boyle has roped the young directer to helm a thriller on Mumbai's underbelly titled 'Bombay Velvet', which the Oscar-winning filmmaker will produce.

Kashyap, who took his camera to show some unexplored areas of Delhi in 'Dev D', believes that urban India is a treasure trove of stories.

"The problem with Indian cinema is that it is not Indian. Our films are based in a la la land and are about love. But if there is so much love why are we fighting all the time? Urban India is certainly an exciting landscape. It is changing every second and capturing it is a fascinating experience. It is an interesting genre," says Kashyap.

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