Interview of Student Director Fazil N.C

Around a month back,we had decided to get an interview published right from the makers of 'In The Shade of Fallen Chinar'.The interview of artist activist Ali Saffudin was published in August this year.Subsequently,we wanted something for the readers directly from the makers of the film.And here,we just did it! 

1.Which academic disciplinary are you pursuing currently?

I did my Bachelors in Journalism from Madras Christian College and then went to pursue my Post Graduation from Hyderabad university.Not a student anymore...

2.What got you interested about films and the art of film making?

I think my mother's family,the relatives belonging to the maternal side.They loved to talk and shared a common love for art.Mom is a big time cinema lover.Maybe that is the story of lineage,if you ask me.Whenever someone narrates an episode from their life,it is visually appealing.

3.Uh huh.What kind of cinema would you watch as a kid?What books would you read?

Tamil films with Rahman's music.Popular Malayalam films.We had a custom of bringing video cassettes from Gulf countries.So,we watched a lot of films on VCR.And then obviously Doordarshan...Ramayana and Noorjahan,stuff like that.I hope the interview is less about me..more about the issues.And our thoughts. 

4. What about Kashmir? How did you get entangled about the ideas of liberation?

My first encounter with Kashmir was during my Post Graduation.I was in second year.We had to do internship and I had no clue where we could have done it.But then a friend Goutham from university had gotten a contact in Srinagar to pursue an internship.And I just did the same because Kashmir was a mystery.So,I just got in.

5.What got you interested about Kashmir?

That was a blind trip.Knew nothing much about it,except about Dal lake.I read and studied about Kashmir after my first visit.We stayed for note those 45 days.And there was always this longing to go back.And it only happened after two years.

6. What about getting intertwined with the movement? And the making of 'The Shade of Fallen Chinar'?

I always loved Kashmiris for their warmth...and tenderness.So,to see the oppression and the political conflict is saddening.And we always feel like contributing to it.For the love of people.And the history that place withholds.
I am largely influenced by the Sufi Shiva history that Kashmir was the cradle of.Was fascinated by the stories of all of them - Nooruddin Nund Rishi,Makddom Shahib...a few to name here.

7.What about the resistance?Do you support it?Do you oppose it?

Within me,I support any kind of movement for freedom.But Azaadi can be different for different individuals.I feel with can't pin point what kind of Azaadi it is.And there are different groups,different ideologies,within Muslim communities,there are counter ideologies,there always are.I am highly critical about it.I am also critical about the Kashmiriyath the people in the valley claim.Because if you read the history of that place,it has contributed a lot to our civilisation.
But Kashmiris see India as an oppressive regime,which is true because for them the idea of India is military presence...and the false promises.But then there is this reality of modern day boundaries.It's always very complex and never ending in some ways.But the government can't silent people with arms.They can't cut down the basic living rights for protecting something but it does that all the time.If you look at Telengana or Chattisgarh,the government has done the same to the people.

8.So,what are your religious views in general? (I get that you are a hardcore anarchist the way you silently sue government for its deeds. 😛)

Haha.Yeah.I had to control it.I think I am just discovering what my religious lineage is.Though I was brought up in an Islamic family I would say...not culture.
One point I want to contribute...I have read that second Buddhist council was held at Harwan,almost 10 km from Srinagar.That was an important time in Buddhist history.
And then there were aesthetic guys like Abhinava Gupta who have hugely influenced Indian art.And there is huge Shiva tradition that had even come to Kerala.So,you see,Kashmir is a part of someone like me hailing from South India.So,I am not really favouring Kashmir for Kashmiris.

9.Do you want to mean not JUST for Kashmiris?

Yes...Like I can't imagine getting a visa to enter Kashmir .. Already I am pissed off because I need a visa for Pakistan and Afghanistan.

10. Don't u want Kashmir to be an independent state?

 No comments .. 😬😄I really want people to live in peace. 

11.That explains.

And be liberated.Without fooled by govt and false promises...And understand their true history That applies to people in India as well.Not to see things in a mere 60 years of governance.

We are just testing something. 

12.Recently you received a special jury award for 'In The Shade of Fallen Chinar' at signs film festival. Well,do awards necessarily prove your work is worthy (I'll constantly take advantage of you being an anarchist) or would you rather align yourself with the character of 'Maniac' Dario Fo created in his work?

Yes awards are good because our friends and family celebrate it...😄

13. What about your favourite film directors? What do you perceive film to be - is it a tool for voicing generations or is it just a form of art?

 I think its about a face or an image that's largely forgotten.Or missing.Or a longing for paradise.

14.How about poetry? 😉

Fav.. I am crazy about Imthiaz Ali's body of work from India.Then Woody Allen.Truffaut.

Rajeev Ravi,Terrence Mallick,Work of Emmanuel Lubezki,Asghar Farhadi,Nury Ceylan.

15. Jean-Luc Goddard?

A few. For his wacky film making. 

16.Uh huh. What would you like to tell to the entire hooliganism gang comprising of Gen Y "cool dudes" if you ever had a chance to?😝

You are making me a baba!Not matured to give any gyaans...Haha

17. Kidding. Just a message maybe to all of us that you'd like to leave?Nothing like gyaans.

No no.. People are so judgemental...May be people should believe in cinema.. Because the reality is so chaotic and ignorant.So create a beautiful visual canvas and try to become better human beings...Visualise our own world...And not lose completely to the world that's ongoing.

18. So,what about popular culture and literature? Like,what do you think about say,Chetan Bhagat,Amitabh Ghosh or Arundhati Roy?

No comments.On popular literature.Poetry is always influencing your conscious.Like nothing else..All our Urdu poets including Ghalib.And then I was reading Faiz,Rumi like forever..Kaifi Azmi,Nissar Qabbani.I want to read more Arab poets.It's a wish list.And then Lalon Fakir kind of stuff.My friend Tsering Wangmos' poems.

19.Yeah...Urdu poetry is classy,rich and seamlessly beautiful.

Yes yes ...Cokestudio from Pakistan has mindblwoing poetry.In a new sound.

20.Coming back to politics. What about our PM,ABVP and the sangh parivaar?(Don't tell me no comments.)

Completely against BJP.Trying to built a false nationalism.That may break this nation.It's completely chaotic and misleading. 

21. How do you think art can contribute in the field of individual as well as collectivist protest?

 Art as resistance has a lot of power and genuinity.Because a true artist is not biased.Art can help any movement.A lot of rebellion movement had sustained with the help of art.I think I should study more about it for further comments.

22. Umm...what about the distance we have between the northerners and the South Indians today? Do you think it's just another political game?

No.. Youngsters are lazy ass.They don't travel.They should drop all the inhibitions and start traveling.

23. And you say I made you a baba! 

I think a large no of keralites have started traveling.To north east. And Ladakh.Or say Manali.

On their bikes and stuff.Its going to change a lot of understanding.There was a film in Malayalam with a North east heroine.So my friend/script writer was saying positive things about the way of perception of North eastern people.

24.That's interesting! What are your thoughts about institutionalising art? How far can you go,like it's an instinct,it's a feeling,right?

Heavy stuff .Can't say anything on it.

25. Do you agree to the notion that "the masses do not know and they do not know that they do not know"?

No..No conclusions on masses.Or things they know or don't know.Just be hopeful

26. On capitalism?

Capitalism kills love.Like this qoute.Capitalism is an illness.That is the pure reason for many illusions.And its making people sick from inside.I have high regards for Bedouins.,Bauls,Gujjars,Drokpas.For everyone who hasn't given up for this modern world.

27. What are the upcoming projects that we'll be able to see you working on?

Our team is collaborating with director Bharathbala,acclaimed for Vande Mataram video with A.R Rahman on a few documentaries.An extended version of Fallen Chinar might be up soon.

28. Tell us a little more about the extension of 'Fallen Chinar'.We're really excited.

Since it's a little difficult to come up with a plan,we are just hoping to go back to Kashmir and shoot the after effects of the long curfew with the artists we've already featured in the screening of 'Fallen Chinar' and based on how people have responded.

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