If there's one thing we know Mira Nair for, it's storytelling that gets you in the gut.
It's taken more than just the creative process to deliver cult favourites like Salaam Bombay, it seems.
Nair admits that she's had to combat commercial pressures throughout her filmmaking career.
The director said to IANS, "There are commercial pulls, of course, when you are helming a film. And bigger the project, the greater the number of people you are answerable to. But in the midst of all this, I always try to keep my voice alive. As the director of a film, as the story teller, you have to keep your voice alive.”
Her next film, Queen of Katwe, is a biopic of Ugandan chess prodigy, Phiona Mutesi, who coincidentally walks into a chess school in her city, develops a passion for the game, and goes on to become a world class player at a very young age. The Walt Disney production stars Oscar-winning actress Lupita Nyong’o.
“When I heard the story from a Disney representative, I was like ‘That’s my stuff’, and I instantly agreed to direct the film,” Nair said of her film.
Nair's known as a bold filmmaker, but she doesn't equate boldness with the showing of skin. Bollywood's become bolder in other ways, she says:
“I don’t think boldness should be associated with showing off skin. It’s not the basis of boldness. I think there is a lot more bolder thinking that is now in cinema here."
“Also, the craft and quality have seen miles of improvement. In earlier days we had to be apologetic about the standard of things, but now we are as good as anyone else. That is just really exciting,” she added.
She also said that if she made Kama Sutra again, she'd make it differently.
“I would make it very differently because the world has changed and I have grown. But, yes, censorship is still there. That has not changed here, and that is incredible. Not just in cinema but in society as well. In that sense, it’s not the most open place we have been in,” she said.