Next Turn

Amol Palekar is back in action, this time with an English language film

At 65, Amol Palekar has finally found his peace. He is happy living amidst lush greenery and chirping birds at his Pune home. It's only work that draws him away, particularly the off-beat film projects that he feels so passionately about. These days therefore, he is busy in Mumbai promoting his upcoming directorial venture And Once Again . Written by his wife Sandhya Gokhale, the film has Rajat Kapoor and Antra Mali in the lead. The film is slated to release on August 13.

To everyone's surprise, Palekar has shot the film in English. "Every subject chooses the language. The movie is about a high-profile architect and a civil servant and their normal way of communication is English," says Palekar, who also had his entire cast stationed at Sikkim for the one month of shoot. "The film on one level deals with a man-woman relationship. On the other hand, it talks about unnecessary violence. So we needed a peaceful place to shoot," says Palekar, who has directed nearly 15 films till date in Hindi and Marathi.

Palekar is aware that And Once Again might bag a 9 am or 10 am slot at theatres, but this is a battle he is willing to fight. "I don't have the kind of money that is required for film promotions these days. All I can tell people is that I have made a good film, worth watching," says Palekar, adding small-budget films need a different marketing approach. "There is a different kind of logic applied here unlike mainstream films which are made at a budget of not less than Rs 60 crores," he explains.

Despite the odds, Palekar will not give up film-making. "I was probably one actor who refused nine films out of 10. I don't go by any pressure, commercial compulsions or market forces. Now I make films because I want to share a story that I have liked with as many like-minded people as possible," says the filmmaker. In fact, the actor-turned-director says that he still keeps getting film offers. "I get at least three offers a month. They mostly want me to play the hero's father. Intrigued, I ask them what my character is going to be and they all seem confused. Until I don't get a role that challenges me, how am I going to sign any film?" he questions.

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