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Filmmaker Sanjay Sure talks about his highly acclaimed film ‘Bless You.’

Filmmaking does not always have to be a commercial business. Some films are made to show art through the filmmaker’s lens to a wider world. Such is the movie ‘Bless You’ by filmmaker Sanjay Sure. It has received accolades and awards at several film festivals including international ones. Sanjay Sure sat down with City First to talk about the film, its success and the process of making it.

Reacting to the positive response his film has gotten, Sure said, “As an Indian filmmaker, I have tried a different cinema. When we finished the work on our film, I thought about taking international reviews for our hard work. It was very important to know how the international audience views the content that we as Indians make. We got more than what we had imagined. When we watch films like Paradise that show the culture and the society of their country, we find them novel and unique. Even our Indian filmmakers have done such work in the past such as the Marathi film ‘Court’. So, we thought that we also needed to make a cinema that depicts our society realistically.”

The filmmaker further mentioned that it was the idle lifestyle that was given to him and his theatre friends during the pandemic that gave birth to the film. “We once thought that rather than sitting here idly, why not make a film on the pandemic! This is how we developed ‘Bless You’ while keeping the pandemic, not as the focus but as the backdrop of the film.”

He added, “We had previously done a theatre play together named ‘Death of a Clerk’. We used the moral of the play in our film. We felt that the story of the play suits the pandemic backdrop and flows smoothly. I pitched the idea to everyone who loved it very much. After that, we immediately started working on the film.”

The film was entirely shot in real-life locations and no sets were used even once in the film. Addressing that, Sure said that as the story demanded reallife situations, they shot in real locations. “For example, we have a scene in a fish market. And I have seen that the artificially set up fish markets on sets do not have the authenticity of an actual fish market. So, we shot our scene in an actual fish market during the busy hours to get the essence right.”

“All of the cast of the film are theatre actors who are not known faces. They are stars in their own right. So, it became easier for us to blend in and shoot without making the people around us aware of the situation. And we had also rehearsed our scenes thoroughly as a result, we did not face any chaotic situation while shooting,” he said.

With the motivation and hope of making another such path breaking film, the filmmaker signed off with a cheery bye.

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