Akhilesh Jaiswal

The co-writer of Gangs of Wasseypur talks about his debut film on erotic writer Mastram
Akhilesh Jaiswal
Akhilesh Jaiswal

Tell us a bit about the film.

Mastram is a fictional biopic of an erotica writer set in the ’80s who was very popular in north India. It's also about the hypocrisy of society and how they react to him.

What made you want to tell his story?

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I was a big fan of his novels in my early teens. I found the books very interesting.

Is making a fictional biopic more challenging than other films?

It's difficult to create a life out of nowhere, when you have no document to be inspired by. All we had was myths about this man.

Who are your filmi gurus?

I don't think I have a style, but am influenced by Martin Scorsese and Anurag Kashyap.

How tough is marketing indie flicks?

For a small film with new actors, content is the hero. So, word of mouth becomes an important factor.

Was it very difficult getting producers for the film?

Not for me, since I knew them from Wasseypur. They liked the script and felt it was a story that could be told.

Or do you believe sex sells?

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Let's hope. You can create hype but only when the audience connects with the story does it all fall into place.

Do you think there will be any censor issues?

I think at times censors are judgemental and you don't know what will happen to your film. I hope they release my film without cuts.

Were there objections by the Shiv Sena?

They objected to a tagline on the poster and we had it removed. We don't want to hurt anyone's sentiments and it's not a big deal.

How did your parents react to you dropping out of college?

They are in Bhopal and didn't know until gow that I was into films.

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