A perfect mélange of talent, creativity and intellect, Anurag Singh, Punjab’s one of the most successful film directors, is an extremely down-to-earth and soft-spoken man on the surface! However, under that calm exterior lies a bundle of passion and enthusiasm, which is illustrated by the variety of films he has been behind. From the entertainers like Jatt and Juliet series &YaarAnmulle to a socio-political drama like Punjab 1984, Anurag has proved his mettle enough as a director and now he’s all set to begin a new innings of his life, by donning the hat of a producer.
‘SUPER SINGH’ starring Diljit Dosanjh and Sonam Bajwa in the lead, is not just directed by Anurag but also produced under his own banner, BRAT films and presented by Balaji Motion Pictures. The film is releasing on 16th June and is going to be the First-Ever Punjabi Super-Hero film! While Anurag was in Chandigarh, we got an opportunity to interact with him and here are a few excerpts of our intellectually-stimulating conversation:
Q: Your last film, Punjab 1984, released three years ago. So tell us what took you so long to return to Punjabi cinema?
A: I was trying to start my own production house, and it needed some money for the kind of subject that I wanted to make (Super Singh). Since there were not many people in Punjab who were willing to invest in a super-hero film, it took me a long time to find the right kind of people who could finance it. Other than that, I was trying to write and develop some scripts as well.
Q: Since your last film was a serious socio-political drama, with PUNJAB 1984, people’s expectations from you were different. Why did you choose to make this transition – from a serious film to a super-hero entertainer?
A: As a director, you feel like doing new things, and you have to keep on challenging yourself with whatever new you can do. One can only learn when you do something new, and this transition from Punjab 1984 to Super Singh was something that I personally never felt, because this is something I always wanted to do.
(Also Read: SIX SUPER REASONS TO WATCH SUPER SINGH)
Q: Personally which genre of film do you relate to the most?
A. I like all kinds of cinema. As a viewer, I watch all kinds of films from festival films, and world cinema to South Indian films. However, as I director I can’t do all the things. There are certain films that I want to do, and I keep trying my best to do the the same.
Q: What kind of preparation did you need to do for Super Singh?
A. While shooting for Super Singh, acquiring finance was the main challenge. For the entire team, this genre was something that nobody had ever done before. From VFX to budget and preparation, nothing was as easy as it may seem. For such kind of films, you cannot just go and shoot it like any other film. It was basically like a blind shoot, because a lot is dependent on VFX and it involved a lot of mental and technical preparation.
Q: Could you execute your vision in Super Singh?
A. Fortunately, yes, to a large extent the movie has come out to be as I had envisioned. Of course, there has been a little bit modifications but on the whole, the vision of the movie has been achieved.
Q: You have had a very good association with Whitehill Studios in the recent past. Why did you not collaborate with them this time?
A. White Hill Studios is a well established production house on its own, and they were already occupied in making high budget films like Sardaarji 1 and 2, so it eventually did not work out, but we are all friends. Moreover, I was initiating my own production house at that time, so things didn't really work out.
Q: Your wife, Madhurjeet Sarghi, was the casting director in Punjab 1984. Is she also playing a role in Super Singh?
A. My wife has been a persistent support, so far. She has looked after and helped me out in casting of Super Singh as well besides many other things like, Actors' preparation, and rehearsels. She is a big part of all my films.
Q: You’ve worked with Diljit Dosanjh after his stint in Bollywood? How’s the personal equation between both of you now?
A. My personal equation with Diljit is still the same. He is easy going, we have a fun relation, and resort to all kinds of discussions. He has grown as an artiste. He is very observant and a quick learner. Moreover, now his confidence about his talent and craft has increased manifold. After Udta Punjab, he has come out to be an even more mature actor.
Q: What would you say about Sonam Bajwa's role in Super Singh?
A. To be very honest, initially I didn't consider Sonam for this role in Super Singh as this character required her to be loud and tomboyish. However, my wife convinced me for the same, and asked for her audition. I thought she is an established star, and why would she come for the audition. However, she is very down to earth and she came to give the audition. She is the kind of actress who is willing to go that extra mile in life which is really laudable.
Q: Why should the audience watch Super Singh?
A. The trailer speaks of the fact that, Super Singh is going to be the first super hero film, a totally new concept in the Punjabi film industry. Not only this, we also strive to give a message with the film. So, it is going to be a complete package for everyone.
(Also Read: SIX SUPER REASONS TO WATCH SUPER SINGH)
(With Editing Inputs by Bhavya Gaind)