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Sarah Michelle Gellar

Sarah Michelle Gellar - "Untitled Thriller" Movie Director - Bbc.co.uk Interview

Friday 19 August 2005, by Webmaster

Three years ago the then relatively unknown British filmmaker Asif Kapadia won accolades for his striking debut feature ’The Warrior’, set in feudal India. Talking Movies has been finding out what Kapardia has been doing since then.

Asif Kapadia recently met journalists in New York to modestly promote his work ’The Warrior’, the story of a man who abruptly renounces violence and turns to peace. It has an epic sweep and was a very impressive debut feature, which Kapadia directed and co-wrote. It definitely pulled him out of obscurity.

Asif Kapadia: "I think within the industry people started to notice the film, and it grew and then I suppose a lot of journalists were really, really good to us, we had really good reviews and that really helped us. And then I’ve been offered quite a few projects, quite a few movies, but it was just, for me, trying to find the right project." And the right project did come along: as as-yet untitled supernatural thriller starring Sarah Michelle Gellar, which Kapadia has already shot.

Asif Kapadia: "It’s a jigsaw puzzle of a movie and for me it’s [a] very exciting chance to work in a different genre. Also it’s my first time directing something of substance that I haven’t written. And also working within the American studio system. So it was an interesting challenge."

Kapadia is trying to forge his own style of filmmaking. ’The Warrior’ was shot in India and most of the dialogue was in Hindi, but it didn’t feel quite like an Indian film. It’s a bit of a hybrid, shot in a style that incorporated his knowledge of cinema and his own background growing up in Britain as the son of Gujarati immigrants.

The WarriorAsif Kapadia: "I’m British, but I’m Asian, but I’m European, but I’m Indian. I suppose I could try to be like everyone else but I decided [to] try and write and direct a movie in a style that makes me different to other people. I really want to try and make visual films, films with essentially very little dialogue, where the story is told through images. I’m a big Hitchcock fan, and that’s the kind of movies that really inspired me to try and just see if I can find another way of telling a story again."

’The Warrior’ was first seen publicly almost four years ago but it’s only just been released in the US. The American distributor kept it on the shelf for a long, long time. Perhaps this was frustrating for Kapadia, but he’s philosophical.

Asif Kapadia: "I think in the US it got held up for various reasons. It was almost going to come out a few years ago and then it didn’t. I suppose my only answer is, it can take years to write a screenplay, it can take years to get it financed, and it can take years to get a film out and distribute it. So it’s just the nature of the beast and you just can’t give up hope. In a way all good things come to those who wait."

The WarriorIt seems Kapadia is unassuming, likeable and unspoilt by the high profile celebrations of two years ago at the BAFTA awards, when Lord Attenborough presented him with a trophy.

Tom Brook: "You were given a Most Promising Newcomer award. Do you think you’ve lived up to that title?"

Asif Kapadia: "Oh God, I don’t know. I think I’ll only find that out after I’ve made ten movies. I suppose the biggest challenge is there’s so many young filmmakers who make one movie and then vanish. And that was one of my aims, was to not get stuck on that awkward second movie, and I’ve got over that, I’ve made my second movie, I’m finishing it up and it’s coming together really, really well, and I’m very pleased, I’m proud of it. And so after I’ve made ten I’ll hopefully be able to show that I was promising when I made that first one."

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