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Dev Benegal

The director of critically acclaimed 'English August' starts on his second film

Dev Benegal
What's your new film Split Wide Open about ?
Set in the last few months of his century, its about live television, emerging sexuality and the need to talk.

Does an audience exist for this genre of films.
English August - my earlier film found a yound, new audience responsive to films about contemporary India. It broke the back of the myth that only films with songs and dances succeed at the box office.

Why such a long gap between Eglish August and this film ?
I like to begin working only when I'm conviced of my script.

Why have you repeated Rahul Bose ?
Split Wide Open is about the new Indian - a person who wants to be parts of the next century, of global culture and yet retain his Indian identity. We felt Rahul Bose could bridge these two worlds and play with conviction.

Didn't you feel that the rtesponse toEnglish August was very elitist ?
English August was film about a young urban individual coming to terms with the Indian experiance. As an auto ctitique of my generation, I think it worked very well with the new audience it discovered.

Who is the target audience for split... ?
Anyone in India or outside who is interested in watching a film which is original, entertaining and makes you think as well.

Who in Indian Cinema comes closest to your genre of film-making ?
Can't think of anyone.

Who scipted the film ?
It's based on an original story by Deve Benegal & Upamanyu Chatterjee with the screen play by Farrukh Dhondy.

Why does the rest of the cast compromise ?
Film stars Shivaji Satham, Laila Rouses and Kiran Nagarkar amongst others.

Does bollywood as it exists today have spave for directors like you ?
Bollywood doesn't put a value on originality. Audiences however are pretty ruthless and the way for Bollywood to continue into the next millennium is to change and adapt to a new kind of cinema - which is rigorous, entertaining and original.

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