On Thursday evening, renowned Indian-American filmmaker Mira Nair among several other international filmmakers decided to jump on the #Ask bandwagon tying up with ARRAY, an independent international film distribution and resource collective founded by American filmmaker Ava DuVernay.
The trend which is all the rage, especially during this lockdown, allows Twitterati to tweet out questions whilst tagging their favourite filmmakers and the hashtag ‘ARRAYNow’, who will then answer it for. The initiative called ‘Filmmaker Tweet-a-thon’ also managed to acquire a custom emoji for its hashtag, the classic film camera.
The list of filmmakers apart from Mira included Guillermo del Toro, Lulu Wang, Alma Har’el, Malcolm D Lee, Patty Jenkins, Julie Dash, Robert Townsend, Patricia Cardoso, Nisha Ganatra, Michael Schultz, Yance Ford, Lisa France, Radha Blank, Roger Ross Williams, Chris Eyre, and several others.
Today is the day! Welcome to @ARRAYNow’s Film Fellowship.
60+ film directors tweet directly with filmlovers all day!
All your q’s about movies. Answered by the folks who make them. Use hashtag #ARRAYNow.
— Ava DuVernay (@ava) April 30, 2020
Mira started by picking questions that were about her craft, her choices, and takeaways from being the wonderful filmmaker that she is today. She seems to look out for challenges and turn them into opportunities instead of walking away when denied something. She believes that there is no single element that helps a script move forward.”Every script should bind in layers – never just one thing – humor, loss, desire – it all comes together so long as there is purity of intention,” she said.
Instead of beating around the bush, she was crisp and straightforward with advice for first-time directors. “Learn your craft. Prepare to be lonely. Cultivate stamina,” she said. She follows the advice of her Bengali sitar teacher, everybody should focus their energies on one thing deep down. While the Salaam Bombay director prefers the synergy of truth and visual story-telling on screen, she does not prefer going back to her films and amending it. “You can’t step in the same river twice,” she said.
Mira mentioned that she keeps herself constantly updated with nature and politics, thereby staying ‘sick’ with the ‘disease’ of filmmaking. The filmmaker who debuted in the industry with her documentary Jama Masjid Street Journal, added that the inspiration to get into the industry came from not being able to see people like herself on screen. With yoga and love by her side, she mentioned that she would make films that only she could make.
Actor Irrfan Khan, who passed away a few days back, was known for his exceptional performance as Ashoke Ganguli in Mira’s The Namesake. When asked about how she decided to cast the actor for the role, she replied by saying she owed him a lot for cutting down his screen time in her first, Salaam Bombay. Actor Vipin Sharma also pulled her leg by saying she forced the cast and crew of The Namesake to practice yoga, early in the morning.
To end, she revealed that her next, Monsoon Wedding The Musical, will hit London in July 2021. She also added that she is picture locking (a process in editing) her other film, A Suitable Boy, and bid goodbye to her fans.
— Mira Nair (@MiraPagliNair) April 30, 2020
Feature Image Courtesy: masterclass.com