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Filmmaker Kunal Kohli talks about MX Player's Ramyug, the film industry, and living in Covid times

06:50 PM May 11, 2021 | Lipika Varma

He’s an illustrious director, writer and producer, and even an actor… best known for blockbusters like Hum Tum and Fanaa. Currently, Kunal is in the news for his ambitious venture Ramyug — the web series version of the epic Ramayana, which is streaming on MX Player. In an interaction with the Cinema Journal, Kunal Kohli talks about Ramyug, the industry and more. Excerpts from the interview:

How is Ramyug different from your other films and shows?

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The scary part of things is when there is a comparison. Honestly, it is not fair that we indulge in comparisons instead of making the best of what we have as filmmakers and using whatever resources that are available to us — that is the best way to evolve as filmmakers. About the difference between Ramyug and my other films is… if you compare a picture clicked on your phone today and 10 years back, you will note some differences. As the technology changes, we have access to better things, though the content remains the same, and we don't even want to change it as it is already established. So, we have tried to present this story through new technology and in a visually different way.

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What do you enjoy the most: Directing or producing?

Directing... I love it! That is the reason I stopped producing. I only want to focus on directing, because as a producer you have a lot of responsibilities on your shoulders that cuts down your time.

Do you think creative people are bad at trying their hands at producing?

No, not at all. There are a lot of creative people who are good producers. There is Adi [Aditya Chopra] and Karan Johar who are good producers and creative people too. But as far as I am concerned, I don't want to do it. I just want to be a director.

What is that one thing you feel has changed in our industry?

I am glad that the one thing that has not changed in our industry is passion. If you see the team spirit of the entire crew, it is high — right from the camera attendants to light boys to spot boys. I love the way we have added new technology and how everyone keeps updating themselves — not just filmmakers but I see camera attendants well-versed with new technologies. Some may not be very educated but they are much nuanced with their skills, which I think is commendable. The workers keep transforming and updating themselves. That is one great thing in our industry. It’s a difficult time for them but we have Federations that look after their needs, etc.

“My decision to film the ‘Ramayan’ has nothing to do politics”- Kunal Kohli

What's next on the film front?

I am in talks for a web series with Lions Gate and also for films with some producers. Let's see how it goes…

What will be the genre and what kind of films are they?

I don't know… it is a bit too early to talk about it as the talks are still on. It can't be revealed now.

You made a debut as an actor with 'Phir Se'… any plans of going back to acting?

I am only focusing on directing right now.

Back then, the film also got embroiled in controversies. What would you say to people who get entangle in such things?

The best way is to talk to people face-to-face and try to resolve the matter by discussing. Intentions should be clear whether you have come to clear the issue or create problems.

Any message to the people out there in these trying times?

Times are tough, and people are going through so much. We have come up with a show where one can sit and watch with the entire family. I hope that people appreciate our efforts.

Anu Malik, Kunal Kohli and other celebs attend meeting with Union min Piyush Goyal to discuss CAA

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