‘Aisa Hota Hai’ is an independent film which is directed, produced and written by Ashish Dubey.
On 15th February 2013, this short film was screened in Hansraj College, Delhi University, followed by a discussion with the filmmaker himself.
The film starts with two shady thieves, probably pocket maars, and they plan to steal a car parked in a jungle. Unexpectedly, they find two girls making out in the nearby bushes.
There is another twist in the 13 minutes short tale when a man, dressed in plain clothes, arrives at the scene claiming to be a policeman.
The film basically deals with various themes like corruption in the law and order system of our country, homosexuality and how the society views it and also about the unpredictability in life.
Strangely, the story was written around the two main actors, and not the other way round.
Ashish Dubey says, “I started my film from the other way round. I had these two actors who wanted me to make a film. Now, I thought what can I make them? They didn’t look like the conventional hero. They looked somewhat like criminals, but not very hardened criminals or terrorists. So, I thought, why don’t I make them pickpockets? And from there I started writing the script.”
The film’s plot changes every minute and it can be a little puzzling for the audience. We don’t even know, even after the climax, whether the plain-clothed policeman was actually a policeman or not.
The short film leaves a lot of things open-ended in its plot.
But what is its message?
It does not have any.
“I am so glad that people here in the college didn’t ask me one question — what was the message? My film doesn’t have any message. If people get some message indirectly, then it’s fine. But I think, a film’s main purpose should be to entertain.”
And the short film does entertain, without being judgmental.
The film’s shooting was completed in December 2010, but it took Ashish Dubey a year to edit the film because of a shortage of funds. It was first screened in Fribourg International Film Festival on 27 March 2012, and after that it has been selected for screening in many festivals like New Jersey Independent South Asian Cine Fest, Indian Film Festival Stuttgart, Festival of Nations Film Festival AUSTRIA.
Strangley, he says that he finds a larger audience abroad than in India.
“It’s very hard to get an independent film screened in India. There is a considerable market in the film industries of south, but in Hindi Film Industry, people are only interested in watching the Bollywood flicks. Also, states like Tamil Nadu etc. fund the film festivals down south, but in Hindi Film Industry, neither the Delhi Government, nor the Uttar Pradesh or Haryana Government provide any assitance.”
So what other challenges did he have to face while making the film?
“It was very hard to get the female actors for the film. They were usually excited at first but after sometime, when they got to know that it was an independent short film, they just didn’t show up. One of my two short-listed female actors left only 48 hours ago. I had to call a mass-com student who wasn’t even an actor.”
What is the future of Independent film in India?
“Well, the situation is improving but only slightly. Now with the digital cameras, it’s a lot easier to make films. Now anyone can make films. Earlier, independent film makers would ask for the extra film-reels from the production companies to make films. But now you have cheap DSLRs in the market. This digital medium was supposed to bring a revolution. But I don’t think it has. You need a vision to create films. Not everyone can be a film maker, because then the quality of the films will also go down. Also, it is still very hard to screen independent short films here in India, despite the fact that the Hindi Film Industry has more money than many other film industries in the west.”
It’s sad that indie-films are not given as much attention as the big banner, feature-films, because ‘Aisa Hota Hai’ is a gem of a film. We hope that the situation changes for better and people realize that a lot of good and creative films are being made in this country by independent filmmakers.