Sanjib Dey is in the midst of his career’s undertaking as his directorial venture
‘III Smoking Barrels‘ is going through literal explosions at film festivals worldwide.
The film opened at the 22nd International Film Festival of Kerala recently. The world premiere of the movie took place at the 38th Durban International Film Festival, South Africa, followed by its European premiere at the 66th International Film Festival Mannheim-Heidelberg in Germany where it won nominations for the Grand Newcomer Award.
His ‘run-and-gun’ style of filmmaking was in the limelight throughout, which further intensified his tough, confident and absolutely firm techniques in filmmaking. A rare mix for a debutant.
In an extensive interview with Sanjib, we spoke at length about his past, present and future, revealing a man who’s so amazingly passionate about creating and evolving the cinematic experience, while continuing to deliver the adrenaline-induced thrills and chills.
My film is an anthology of multiple stories and it has a multilingual plot…It is also similar to the three stages of a screenplay- the beginning, the middle and the end.
When we asked him about what is the significance of the title ‘III Smoking Barrels‘, he gave us an interesting insight. Here’s what he said, “A barrel or a gun is actually non-violent by itself. It is lifeless. It needs someone to pull the trigger and someone else to get hit by the bullet. My three characters in the film are quite like those non-violent, lifeless guns. A gun doesn’t take a life, it’s the one who pulls the trigger that does.”
Then he went on to add that the film is about three criminals, three lives and three guns.
“My film is an anthology of multiple stories and it has a multilingual plot. The story is about a child, a boy and a man which basically associate with the three stages of human life. It is also similar to the three stages of a screenplay- the beginning, the middle and the end. Hence, connecting the threads became important.”
He also adds that the producer of the film, Amit Malpani, had approached him to make a film on Northeast India and since he belonged from there, he immediately agreed to his proposal.
“As far as using six different languages is concerned; Northeast is a warehouse of almost two hundred languages and dialects. To keep things as per the demand of the script and the characters, I had no option but to use multiple languages.”
I am working on a love story for my upcoming project. Not a typical one though
The film is currently doing rounds of film festivals across the globe. It has been invited to the 26th International Film Festival Varna, Bulgaria. Furthermore, Pantera Film will be distributing the film across theatres in Italy.
Sanjib who originally hails from Golaghat, Assam, confesses to having had a lot of fun doing difficult things. Though the start of his career was tough and intensive, he feels happy with what he has now. “I started my career in the television industry in Delhi and then moved to Mumbai with no money and no guidance. It was extremely difficult in the initial years but eventually, things started falling into place.”
“It’s very difficult to become a filmmaker,” the young director says. “Especially when it comes to the regional filmmakers in northeast India, they’re all trying hard to break their respective boundaries. It gets harder because of insurgency problems that has risen up in the past few decades, lack of theatres and a strong film culture. Earlier, I remember Doordarshan used to show regional films every Sunday on a regular basis. That was a good exercise. Today, digital platform is probably the best medium.”
I think why most people have connected to ‘III Smoking Barrels‘ is because it oozes out compassion. Irrespective of the genre, the filmmaker and the film, both need to have compassion.
With his debut venture that good, we can’t wait to see more of him. “I am working on a love story for my upcoming project. Not a typical one though,” he laughs.
Way ahead of his next release, Sanjib realises that filmmaking in general demands extreme levels of passion and madness. He adds, “Where one comes from has very little to do with where one can reach in life. However, Patience and honesty is the key I believe. Keep churning out original scripts and you will definitely find someone someday who will believe in your dream. Besides, the world is now looking towards Far East India, so I guess it’s the right time for storytellers from the region to cash in on these opportunities and tell the world our unheard stories through cinema.”
When we asked him about the element that is most important to him as a filmmaker, the one word that typically escapes his mouth is “compassion”.
“I think why most people have connected to ‘III Smoking Barrels‘ is because it oozes out compassion. Irrespective of the genre, the filmmaker and the film, both need to have compassion.”
Check out the posters:
Watch here: The title teaser of III Smoking Barrels