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Big B known in West just like Maradona in India: Argentina’s Pablo Cesar

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New Delhi, Jan 16, 2021-
Argentine filmmaker Pablo Cesar loves returning to India, and enjoys Indian commercial films.

“They have a unique style. In commercial cinema, it’s mostly the actors who are more famous. You say Amitabh Bachchan, and everyone knows him, even in the West. His name is like Maradona, who is known even in India. It’s impressive how an actor from Asia is known across the globe,” Cesar told.

Cesar, in fact, had thought of casting Big B in his film “Thinking Of Him”, which explored Indian Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore’s relationship with Argentine writer Victoria Ocampo, but it didn’t work out. He still dreams of working with the Indian megastar someday.

“I would be happy if I get to make a movie with Amitabh Bachchan,” said Cesar, chairman of the international jury at this year’s edition of International Film Festival of India (IFFI), held from January 16 to 24.

He is a frequent visitor at Indian film festivals, too.

“I love India. It is a part of my heart. The first time I was in India was at IFFI in 1994. That was in Kolkata. Then, I travelled to Hyderabad, Delhi, Chennai and Goa,” recalled the filmmaker, adding that due to the pandemic this year he won’t be able to attend the festival that will be held in a hybrid format from January 16 to 24.

Opening up on his idea to make a film in India, Cesar reveals a wacky plan of action. He wants to make a film on late football legend Diego Maradona, probably the greatest icon his country has produced. The catch is, he wants to make his Maradona film with a Bollywood twist.

“I haven’t told the Press about this. It’s just an idea at the moment. The story of the film is something like this: There’s a film producer from Argentina who arrives in India with a famous actor from Argentina to make a movie on the life of Maradona, to show that Maradona was famous all over the world. Then the pandemic starts, and they get stuck in India,” Cesar said.

How the actor takes to Bollywood dance lessons to try and survive in India during the time of pandemic, forms the crux of his probable screenplay.

“Maybe one day I will make the movie. I was talking to a producer from Tamil Nadu about it. He said it’s very interesting. Maybe I’ll get an Indian screenwriter. If I get producers, then I will make it a comedy,” shared the filmmaker, who has often visited India and has shot two co-productions in this country.

“One was ‘Unicorn, The Garden Of The Fruits’ in 1996, and the other was ‘Thinking of Him’,” said Cesar, who is known for his independent films, notably “Equinox, The Garden Of The Roses” and “Aphrodite, The Garden Of The Perfumes”.

He does regret not being able to be at IFFI this year owing to the pandemic. “I want to see movies in theatres. Though I have a studio where I can watch movies, I’ll miss meeting other filmmakers and attending the events of the fest,” he said.

Jury duties, however, were not much affected by the pandemic. “It’s more or less the same. Jury members watch films without the public in a private room. So when jury members watch a film, they don’t speak during the screenings. Discussions are done during meetings. But to watch films with the public is interesting. People laugh together and have dramatic moments, and say stuff like ‘oh!!’ That’s interesting to witness collectively,” he said.

His interest in India and its cinema extends beyond Big B and commercial films. “I read a lot about how cinema of Tamil Nadu has grown in the last few years. That is incredible. There are many good films made in Kerala, too,” he said.

He signs off giving a hint of his film in the pipeline: “I have a film project about an African woman who was a slave in Argentina and later helped during the independence of Argentina. I hope to start shooting for it in the last quarter of 2021.” (Agency)

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