Want to shock, disturb people with my work: Q
The director, whose full name is Quashiq Mukherjee, is dubbed as India's most dangerous filmmaker
His films don't release in a theatre near you, and neither does he think they're meant to be enjoyed with cola and popcorn. Director Qaushiq Mukherjee, aka Q, dubbed India's most dangerous filmmaker, says he wants to "create some sort of physical disturbance" in his audience by targeting their conscience.
Known for films like Gandu and Tasher Desh, Q - who is excited about his film Garbage becoming the only Indian film screened in the Panorama section of the 68th Berlin International Film Festival this year - says he is not in the industry for entertainment.
Garbage will have its world premiere on February 21 at the ongoing Berlin International Film Festival.
"My whole idea is to shock people, to stun you when you encounter my work. Cinema in India is looked as an entertainment device. I don't look at it like that," says Q, adding, "Cinema is an information device for me, a communication device. And I have to not only counter people's ideas of cinema, but also counter the crores and crores of marketing money that goes into proliferating bullshit by filling the minds of people with bullshit data. In order to clear through that and have any kind of impact, I have to do something really outrageous. It is just a communication strategy and nothing else, and the form that I practice is shock cinema."
Is having the title of India's most dangerous filmmaker a challenge? "I don't really look at it that way. The dangerousness is in the eyes of a certain set of people who are not privy to the kind of image or this kind of positioning."
Q picks hard-hitting and off-beat subjects and doesn't shy away from breathing life to his stories by delving into the world of sex and abuse -- Bengali-language films Gandu, Tasher Desh and Ludo being cases in point. He has also made the sex comedy Brahman Naman for Netflix.
"I am not a traditional filmmaker and my films are not going to play in a theatre near you, because that is not my deal and not my world," the director says. "Traditionally, people look at cinema as a community entertainment thing. Many people sitting together and sharing a sort of a fantastic ride... That was the idea behind blockbusters. I have never watched that kind cinema and I am not aiming for that," he adds.
Q says he got interested in the film world because of a certain kind of cinema which was "very personal. I watched it alone because normally you wouldn't get that kind of films over here (in India) because nobody distributes them."
Gandu was not released in India, and Q is not hesitant to admit that his film Garbage -- a story about Phanishwar, a taxi driver in Goa, who lives with a mysterious girl whom he keeps in chains -- will also face trouble in getting a clearance from CBFC.
Garbage is produced by Shaailesh R Singh and Hansal Mehta of Karma Entertainment and Media LLP, and co-produced by Q.
Asked if he feels his talent is not as appreciated in India as it is abroad, Q says, "A Turkish writer might be a legend, but you would not know this as you don't know Turkish. But that doesn't take anything away from the person and the idea. I am always interested in artists that you didn't know about. I will always drop things you don't know about or haven't heard about. In my world, that is cool. I love that and I feel lucky to be able to find that."