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Last Updated 15.06.2024 | 3:42 PM IST



Santosh Sivan talks about Aamir Khan’s “perfectionism”, calls Asoka ahead of its time

en Bollywood News Santosh Sivan talks about Aamir Khan’s “perfectionism”, calls Asoka ahead of its time

Prestigious Pierre Angenieux tribute at 77th Cannes Film Festival winner Santosh Sivan talks about Shah Rukh Khan’s drive, Aamir khan’s “perfectionism” and Asoka being ahead of its

A movie isn't really a movie until it's something you can actually see. You'll need a cinematographer for that. Santosh Sivan, who won the prestigious Pierre Angenieux tribute at Cannes this year, is also required for a slew of striking graphics. Sivan began his career in 1986 and is currently busier than ever. In the icy regions of Kashmir, he has started filming and directing Zuni, a film based on the legend of Habba Khatun. In addition, he is now cinematographing Aamir Khan's historical drama Lahore 1947, which stars Sunny Deol and Preity Zinta, and he is preparing to begin Riteish Deshmukh's biopic of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj.

Santosh Sivan talks about Aamir Khan’s “perfectionism”, calls Asoka ahead of its time

Sivan spoke about the significance of this award and awards in general in this interview, which was conducted the day before his jam-packed masterclass where Zinta gave him the prize. For Sivan, awards signify a greater acknowledgement of not just his own abilities but also of the fundamental magic that only cinematographers can create. In addition, there are stories of celebrities posing for photos atop trains and songs going viral.

when asked about what the award meant to him Santosh said, “An award, especially one like this which is so prestigious, inspires a lot of people, especially young people who are aspirants. Like I was the first one to break into Bollywood from the South, the first to be invited to the American Society of Cinematography, and now that I’m the first Asian to be awarded this one, it tells people (those who want to work as cinematographers) that they can also look forward to this kind of pathway.”

“I realised very early that the visual language is without barriers, that it can travel around the world. So, after starting in Kerala, it was a natural progression to Tamil cinema, Bollywood, Hollywood. I began directing with children’s films. When I was shooting Raakh (one of Aamir Khan’s first films), Aditya’s (director Aditya Bhattacharya) sister lost her dog, so I wrote a story around that. And that’s how Halo came about, and then I did Malli. Then I made The Terrorist, for which I got a lot of international awards. It was the first Indian film to be accepted in Sundance (film festival). John Malkovich (at the film festival) in Cairo gave it all the awards, and then he took it and distributed it all over US and UK. After that I wanted to do something more mass, so I did Asoka,” said Sivan.

He further added, “In school, we used to laugh at King Asoka, saying he stopped wars. What kind of king stops wars? One of my teachers used to say, one day you will learn that supporting wars is not what heroes do, and that’s the day I got interested in making a film on him.”

While talking about how it was working with SRK, he expressed, “I had worked with him before, shot with him on top of a train (laughs) for Dil Se. He is an amazing person. He has sent me a lovely recorded message for this occasion, as have Aamir (Khan), Mira (Nair), Shekhar (Kapur).”

He also spoke about Aamir Khan being a perfectionist saying, “See, Aamir is a very sincere person. He is a stickler, and even then, he was a perfectionist. In fact, I’m working with him now, Lahore 1947 is being produced by him. He is also very knowledgeable about the technical side of the business, very curious about which lenses and which cameras to use when.”

“Even SRK is very much into all this, he’s very keen on VFX, and owns the best digital processing outfit. He’s done everything to help Indian cinema achieve a global standard,” Santosh concluded.

Also Read: Preity Zinta wraps shooting of Lahore 1947, calls it her most demanding role yet: “Toughest film I have worked on”


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