• Saturday, December 09, 2023


‘I didn’t want to make romcoms with white people’: Mira Nair

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – OCTOBER 31: Mira Nair attends ‘A Landmark Anniversary Celebration of Two Classic Films By Award-Winning Filmmaker Mira Nair’ at ARRAY HQ on October 31, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images)

By: Mohnish Singh

Mira Nair, who is globally known for such notable films as Salaam Bombay, The Namesake, and Monsoon Wedding to name a few, is currently serving as Head of the Jury for the South Asia Competition at the Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival 2023.

During her masterclass at the festival, Nair said that she did not want to be like everyone else and did not want to make romcoms with white people.

“I deeply understand what it’s like to look outside the window in New York City and instead of the Hudson River see my garden in Kampala. Cinema allows you the notion of living between worlds. Always keep your distinctiveness as your calling card. I didn’t want to be a cupcake. I didn’t want to be like everyone else. I didn’t want to make romcoms with white people. I was not interested in being in the A list of Hollywood,” she said.

The filmmaker further added, “Salaam Bombay became a smash hit and they thought they could use my sensibility to say their things and I didn’t want that. I was interested in being a brown person and telling stories that only I could tell and that became Mississippi Masala, the hierarchy of colour.”

Crediting her instinct as her guiding force, she said, ‘Don’t ever hold back with the actors. The instinct for me is very powerful. I do not give up until I get what I want from my actors. I am not Woody Allen to reshoot movies. Always listen to your intuition and don’t subscribe to what the next person asks of you. Try to steer clear of boredom and nobility. Just telling the stories of the downtrodden doesn’t sell tickets. The downtrodden are never down. They have the greatest spirit of all. Whatever moves you make it come alive.”

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