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Film on Lalu would be wonderful but I am not making one: Prakash Jha

Guwahati: Clearing the air, eminent filmmaker Prakash Jha on Wednesday said he is neither making a film on veteran Bihar politician Lalu Prasad Yadav nor is involved in any manner in the process of making one.

Speaking to PTI, the National Award-winning director opined that Bollywood is interested only in commercial cinema and not in different regions or various aspects of society.

‘I have no idea… I also heard about it. I read somewhere that I was doing a movie on Lalu Prasad Yadav ji — the great human being, politician and strategist,’ he said, when asked about the news regarding an upcoming film on the former Bihar chief minister by Prakash Jha Productions.

‘I think it will be a wonderful subject, but unfortunately I am not involved in it,’ Jha said.

For months, the news of a film on Yadav by Jha has been doing the rounds after some Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leaders commented on it.

Although the filmmaker was asked about it earlier, he neither confirmed nor denied it. This is the first time he has spoken and disassociated himself from any such plan.

Asked about his upcoming projects, Jha said, ‘We have just completed a web series called Sankalp, which should be released sometime early next year.

‘And I am working on another web series, which I had committed to, based on a book called ‘Half Lion’. It’s on the life and times of (PV) Narasimha Rao, the former prime minister of India,’ he said.

Jha said preparations were underway to start shooting for a feature film early next year, but did not share details about it.

‘I don’t make films on topics, I make films on stories. The story is called ‘Janadesh’,’ he replied when asked about what the proposed feature film is on.

On why there are very few Bollywood films on subjects from the Northeast despite having an abundance of issues, Jha opined that he does not think the Mumbai-based industry is really concerned about different regions or aspects of society.

‘I don’t think Bollywood is at all interested in it. Bollywood is interested only in commercial movies. It’s the regional films, the smaller films, and smaller kind of communities that deal with such stories. So, don’t expect Bollywood to talk about the Northeast or problems of any region,’ he added.

To a question whether he will make a film on the Northeast in future, Jha said the region has some wonderful filmmakers like National Award-winning director Jahnu Barua and he enjoys their movies.

‘I will be happy to be a part of any story that comes from the Northeast or if I come across a story which I can set in the region as a location. It’s always a dream, I am sure it will happen sometime,’ he added.

The filmmaker, who is known for his social-political films depicting various problems of society, said nothing is planned as of now regarding the Northeast.

(Published 20 December 2023, 11:07 IST)

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