Documentary filmmaker, Gautam Singh, on why some of the country’s best films are made outside Bollywood
DOHA-based Indian filmmaker, Gautam Singh, is ready with Indian Hospital Revisited—a sequel to Indian Hospital, a six-episode series he made for Al Jazeera in 2011. The original had Singh spending four months at the Narayana Health hospital in Bangalore, in an attempt to bring out the complexities of modern India. He studied the lives of its patients and medical staff. “I wanted to tell the story of an India that belongs to each and every one of its 1.2 billion citizens. We chose Narayana Health because it is one of those Indian stories that brings the country’s differences together in one place. It is a microcosm and, for me, the hospital became not only my film set, but also a character in itself,” says Singh.
Singh is planning a documentary film on India’s open nuclear mines and is researching the ‘Bauls’ of Bengal. But he is not ready to enter Bollywood. “I might do feature films in the future, but they will be very close to reality, which might not be a perfect fit for Bollywood,” he says, having previously made two documentaries, Daughters of the Brothel and My Sister Laxmi, which follows a 12-year-old homeless boy in Bangalore.
Born in Jharkand, Singh grew up in an environement where watching films was frowned upon. “I had to travel 2,000 kms to Mumbai to learn filmmaking,” concludes the director who spends at least a month every year in India.
Indian Hospital Revisited will be telecasted on March 20, at 8 pm. Details: aljazeera.com/indianhospital