“Main” is an upcoming feature film about a struggling film director from Mumbai called Mazhar who only dreams to make a film of his own. To pursue his dream he even sells off his ancestral property. But the story takes a turn when he is diagnosed with cancer. Mazhar finds out that he has less than a year to live and in introspection he starts to question the mundane life that he has lived so far. He realizes that he never took the time to understand the true meaning of his existence. This film is about how he’s on a race against time to achieve his last wish. Here is an excerpt from an interview with the director Syed Hamid Hasan :-
Cinemawallah: Tell us about your journey of becoming involved with filmmaking?
SHH: My name is Syed Hamid Hasan, born and brought up in Kolkata. From childhood I was fascinated by the magic called cinema and wanted to be a part of it. Coming from a middle class family I joined an Urdu theater group in Kolkata and also started to make contacts in the Bengali film industry in the 80s. Acted in two Bengali films in a parallel role with Tapas Paul, Satabdi Roy and the great theater actor Manoj Mitra, assisted directors here and found out that direction is my field. I also did a film making workshop. Film making requires finance so I was franticly looking for finance to make a film. Wrote a screenplay and pitched it to several production houses in Mumbai and Kolkata but there was no response because there was a difference in my approach when I learnt films should be made by heart “Dil Sey”, I learnt from the films of those great filmmakers which were my course book along my journey. They thought filmmaking is simple arithmetic and thus my project was not coming up to their calculation .One day read the noted writer Tolstoy’s Death of Ivan Liliac and Idea of Main crept in, working two years on the script and the team came in.
Cinemawallah: How did you conceive the idea of making the film?
SHH: Inspired by the story Death of Ivan Liliac I started writing it. For my writing there was one theme that says we as a human beings spend our today for a never coming tomorrow. I didn’t had to work much on the story….the story started leading its way……it started showing me locations…characters….and plot…
Cinemawallah: What is the theme of your film and why do you think that it is important for you to make this film?
SHH: Main somewhere portrays this thought for all its viewers that it is important to listen to our sub conscious, it designs our individual personality or “Khudi” with help of the signals, so that we further ease life for other individuals, death is a major theme in the film, which leads to the protagonists quest to find the meaning of life. It is pleasure or a goal which can give him new happiness, symbolizing his rebirth. In metaphysical exploration of the reason for death and what it means to truly live as a man who is dying of cancer and goes on a final desperate quest for meaning, and is born again in his final moments when he embraces it all. The world is spare, empty, and alienating. It is a world without meaning except that which Main a selfhood, has created for himself.
Cinemawallah: Tell us about your effort in gathering the team members of your film?
SHH: For the team they arrived one by one hearing the story and felt it relates to every one of them they were motivated enough by the story like me and thinks that it should be told..
Cinemawallah: Why do you want to crowd funding the film?
SHH: Main is my dream and I am looking for funding to complete it. Was introduced to the crowd funding site Wishberry on social network, saw people got funding, some were my friends too.
Cinemawallah: Do you think Wishberry is an important platform for budding filmmakers’ across the country?
SHH: I came to know about Wishberry through social network. We should all come forward for helping independent cinema to develop in India, there is no dearth of good independent filmmakers in India who should be helped and nurtured to deliver their cinema. Cinema does not cry, cinema does not only comfort us, it is with us and it is us. So funding individuals as a part of cinema should come forward to play their active role without which it cannot be achieved and here comes Wishberry to act as a bridge between funding individuals who are the viewers and independent filmmakers.
You can fund “Main” by contributing to their crowdfunding campaign on Wishberry, here