Guneet Monga: Jab We Sex delves deep into topics like polyamory, porn, sexual abuse

Guneet Monga, the woman behind celebrated films such as Gangs of Wasseypur, The Lunchbox, and Masaaan, is a trailblazer. Her production, Period. The End of Sentence, won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Short Subject. In 2018, Variety listed her amid the top 50 women to have created an impact on the global stage.

She is back now with an audio series backed by Audible Suno on sex-education. Titled Jab We Sex, Masti ki Paatshala, the series spans over 14 episodes and looks to demystify sex, one story at a time.

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20 Years of Rhythm: Redemption for me is a huge part of humanity, says director Vasanth

As you revisit Vasanth’s Rhythm, it is tough to imagine that it was made twenty years ago. A sensitive, moving portrait about two people who lose their partners in an accident, Rhythm’s charm is intact. 2020 also marks the completion of 30 years as a filmmaker for Vasanth. I ask him about his evolution as a filmmaker, and he replies, “Have I evolved?” with a laugh. “With age, I notice that I understand the same story differently. Life experiences have opened doors to new perspectives. Human being a evolve aana thaan correct.”

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The Netflix story

The director of Netflix’s International Original Film department, Srishti Behl Arya, talks to us about building the Indian slate for the streaming giant

Authenticity and Diversity. These two words often pop up in conversation with Srishti Behl Arya, the mind behind Netflix’s original slate in India. “We look for passionate creators. If we are enjoying what we make, we hope our audiences will enjoy them too,” says Shristi. “Storytelling barriers are being broken every day. People don’t want to get stuck with one kind of content.”

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SG Charles: No hero except Vaibhav would have agreed to Lock Up

This lockdown, there has been a consistent stream of Tamil content in the digital sphere. While most haven’t exactly set our screens on fire, SG Charles’ Lock Up, which began streaming on Zee5 recently, has found praise for its smart premise. “I have always been fascinated with non-linear narratives. Lock Up is a combination of this and linear narrative. One can experiment when it is a small-budget production. I am happy that a few of these experiments worked out,” says the debutant director.

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Varalaxmi Sarathkumar: I think the universe wants me to do female-centric cinema

Varalaxmi Sarathkumar is a bundle of energy. She’s visibly active as we connect over a video chat, and this isn’t surprising if you are aware that her activities during the lockdown include helping migrants, collecting support for animals, starting a baking business, and of course, listening to scripts. “I have been busy,” she admits with a laugh. “I have to be useful or I won’t be able to sleep at night. I haven’t been so tired even when I was shooting.”

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People want to see the latest films sooner: Amazon Prime Video India’s Vijay Subramaniam

They say art reflects life, but I say how art is consumed is also a reflection of our lifestyle. Amazon Prime Video has become an important player in the ever-changing universe of film exhibition—so much so that ‘wait for it to come on Prime’ has become a legit line to use in the context of film releases. “We aim to serve the customers across the length and breadth of this country. India is diverse, and we recognise that. The idea is to make the canvas as wide as we can,” says Vijay Subramaniam, Director and Head, Content, Amazon Prime Video India. Here’s Vijay discussing the nitty-gritty of the streaming universe, and the part Prime plays in it…

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Siddharth: I am a responsible citizen first, an actor next

Siddharth is visibly kicked about his latest release Sivappu Manjal Pachai (SMP), which he calls his first ‘universal Tamil film’ in a long time. Director Sasi, he says, is one of the few filmmakers who tells middle-class stories authentically. “He is a special filmmaker. I wondered why we hadn’t worked together for so long. We had discussed a script 7-8 years back.” But he is glad that it didn’t happen and agrees it was maybe not meant to. “He never repeats his heroes. So I wouldn’t have gotten this film,” says Siddharth, with a laugh.

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Sid Sriram: I’m simply a vessel in the process of creating music

Sid Sriram, Kollywood’s current singing sensation, began his career with the breathtaking Adiye, composed by AR Rahman for Mani Ratnam’s Kadal (2013). And now, six years later, the young musician is all set to make his composer debut with a Mani Ratnam production, Vaanam Kottatum. It seems Sid’s career has come full circle. “A small circle,” he says, with a quiet laugh. “At the start, I was just excited to be working on this project and about interacting with Mani sir in the capacity that I am now. I later realised the significance of my first song and it really feels like it has all come full circle,” Sid.

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Dharan Kumar: I am still waiting for the right break

As I begin talking with music composer Dharan Kumar, it dawns on me that it has been 19 years since Unnai Kandene, his breakthrough hit from Parijatham. The fact was a bit hard to wrap my head around, considering the song remains fresh in our memories. However, that isn’t the only landmark number the Podaa Podi-composer has given us. With Pistha, Metro Sirish’s next, Dharan has touched the magical number 25. A single from the album, sung by Yuvan Shankar Raja, has been launched to celebrate the latter’s birthday today. In a freewheeling chat, the young composer talks about his musical career, the term ‘underrated’ and much more.

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Jagadeesan Subbu: Don’t look at animals as just meat

Bakrid is Jagadeesan Subbu’s second film after Sigai, that got released on Zee5. They are starkly different films, not just in terms of the themes but also the shades Jagadeesan plays with. Sigai explores grayer shades while Bakrid is filled with a lot of colour. “I want my films to document something and be completely different from each other.” He laughs after noting that his next might channel his violence, but what is constant, he believes, is the honesty he approaches each story with. In this chat, he talks about how he came around to making Bakrid.

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