I am an artiste and a rebel that makes me Salvador Dali: Sumit Mishra
The art director has literally lived the story for years and it took time to shape into a film. “The love story of Imroz and Amrita took me by storm” says Mishra.
His love for literature developed because of his ” father. He loved philosophy and brought books from the university and asked me to read them. We would discuss a lot of books. I developed the habit of jotting down my diary and wrote poems.”
The passion for literature got him hooked to Amrita Pritam’s writings when he was studying Fine Arts in Banares university ” I started reading a lot of literature and that was when I got hooked to Amrita Pritam’s writings. I fell in love with her works. I started writing my script. I fictionalise Amtita. She had written letters to Sahir Ludhianvi and was planning to turn it into a book. It was a love story titled Akhri Khat.”
The film he reveals is not a biopic. “It has taken me years of hard work and research to put it into this flm. I have depicted eight romantic phases of her life without adhering to culture, customs and the orthodox beliefs. ” He goes on to explain the relationship that existed between Amrita and Imroz. “It is so vast that you cannot sum up in a book or a painting or for that matter a film. It would be unfair to make a biopic on her. Their love story was laced with passion and romance. She found solace in the companionship of the renowned artsist and writer Imroz” he adds.
The director says turning to films was not easy. His family knew nothing about paintings or films. “I announced one day that I wanted to become a painter at the dinner table. They were shocked and totally against my wishes. My father wanted me to take up a job or take up engineering. I told them I would fund my own education and I started teaching painting to fund my education.”
I literally lived Amrita’s work. I didn’t need much research as I had studied all her works,. I was always a loner and my family thought I had lost it. I used to sketch a lot when I free. I did a lot of sketches on Banares. I also did a series of paintings titled Lost in Tranquility, based on the teachings of Osho and Buddha.”
It was this passion for art that drew him to Mumbai. “Someone who saw my work told me to come to Mumbai and I was deeply influenced by Gurudutt’s work. As Mumbai was the hub of art I came and became an art director on films and serials like Madhubala, Rang Rasiya, Kuch Toh Log Kahenge.
Finding someone to play Amrita was not easy but Shruti Ulfat lived the role. Even Jay Yadav did complete justice to his character of ImroZ. So much so that the film has been appreciated at various festival. It won the best film at the Noida International film festival and Sumit bagged the best director award. The film has won the best editing award in Raipur short film festival and special festival mention in 5th Kolkata Shorts International Film Festival.
What next? I am planning my first feature film as a writer director titled Banares. I will start working on in November. It’s a very simple non glamorous film. Where I will be depicting the real Banares which no other film maker has attempted. It will represent the three different cultures of Banares, Shiv, Shav and Shakti. I think the only director who has exploited the beauty of Banares was director Bhawna Talwar in Dharma. Apart from that I am planning a life sketch of famed Pakistani poet Sara Shagufta” he concludes.”