Bringing small towns to screens

Cinema today is a gregarious mix of larger-than-life fantasy films, real-life biopics and small-town India’s tales. Aanand L. Rai who is bringing his next film Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan as a producer to the theatres soon, takes homophobia as the talking point in the narrative. Rai takes forth a series of stories that he brings from small town north India to the country. Teeing off with a Tanu Weds Manu to others such as Raanjhanaa, Tanu Weds Manu: Returns, Nil Battey Sannata, Happy Bhag Jayegi, Shubh Mangal Saavdhan, Mukkabaaz, Meri Nimmo, Happy Phirr Bhag Jayegi, Manmarziyaan, and Zero, Rai usually manages to draw a connection with the audiences with his stories despite touching on taboo subjects.

The filmmaker credits his roots for coming up with such stories. “I find small towns very progressive. For me, since I come from that world, I know it’s the people and their stories there which make a difference. As a filmmaker, I understand that space very well. I wish to encourage filmmaking which changes the perception of family entertainers. From being conservative, I want these films to become thought-provoking yet entertaining. I am happy to have a medium of expression which connects to so many people at the same time,” is Aanand’s raison d’être for making these films which have now become the norm for many filmmakers.

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