With 28 years of cinema studies, he is set with his next movie, Stanley Ka Dabba, and Happy Diwali and Underbelly are in the pipeline. Gupte, who won many accolades for the script of Taare Zameen Par, has recently made a 10-minute documentary Aansu Bane Moti. Also, he has undertaken a project to empower under-privileged children using the medium of films through Aseema, an NGO . Gupte,talks about his passion (acting), various sessions with children and childrens theatre to Arunima Mishra.
Post Kaminey, you had a lot of offers. Why didnt you take them up
Im an outsider to the film industry and Ill work from outside. Once you feel you are part of the film industry, you tend to become lethargic. I dont want to be like that and I would like to keep the child in me alive.
I have never taken anything as a profession in my life. For the last 12 years, I had done solo shows of my paintings. And at Prithvi Art Gallery Sanjana Kapoor patronised some of them. The Gallery packed up in 1999 and so I did pack up as well.
I was really trying to keep the act pristine. I wanted to do something non-commercial, but yet successful. There is a certain amount of loyalty in my work. So I took the art to the children. What you would call workshops is what I term sessions. Being an artist, a story-teller, a theatreperson, I try bringing those skills when I interact with children.
You recently did a session, as you call it, at the Mumbai Acdemy of Moving Image (MAMI) Film Festival. Why are such sessions important
I did a session with the young people aged between 19 and 22 who had been selected by the MAMI jury. The format was in a discussion mode. What is it that we look in childrens minds They were really young. And they had fun. I was in the jury at the recently concluded Mumbai International Childrens Film Festival with Megan Mylan, director of Oscar-winning documentary, Smile Pinki.
As you have been actively doing workshops etc for children, where does childrens theatre stand today
Delhi is very active for childrens theatre. There are so many instances, for example NSD and others, that work with children. At Mumbais Prithvi Theatre too, a lot of childrens theatre has happened, which is called Summertime at Prithvi. Ive been running a theatre and cinema class in two schools in Mumbai.
They are too good and they must be given opportunities for careers that will exercise their hidden talent.
Where childrens theatre stands today, it stood there yesterday. It was happening 30 years ago, its happening now. There has been development. Naturally, there is development n every decade. There has been Dadi Padumjees puppet theatre and quite popular.
For the future of childrens theatre, there has to be a genuine calling from within which will ensure there will be element of experiment with the childrens theatre. The agents, private or government should move forward towards projecting childrens theatre as the little ones absorb like blotting paper.
Are you planning to make any films for children Also, what do you think should be done to make this genre popular
Right now, Im passionate about Stanley Ka Dabba. Make more and more movies for children and show it to the world.