Gauri Shinde on break from direction since 2016: I had no choice, the pandemic hit, but there’s no rush

Gauri Shinde’s last directorial project, Dear Zindagi was back in 2016, and the pandemic proved to be a damper to her plans with her third outing. She says despite the long gap, she is not ready to rush into anything.

“Yes, my last film was in 2016 and as the norm would have it, in three years I would have been ready (with another film). But unfortunately, the pandemic has hit. I had no choice, but there is no rush. I really want to wait a little longer to see where all this goes,” Shinde shares.

The filmmaker believes that sometimes life throws these things at you for you to take that break and see what you want to do is really worth it.

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“I feel there is no point in doing something like films, because it takes so much efforts, strength and stamina out of your life that it better be worth it when you make one. I guess somewhere life is telling me to hang on slightly longer,” add the director, whose made her debut as a director with English Vinglish in 2012.

Talking about how the entertainment industry has shaped up during the pandemic, the 47-year-old says where the pandemic is concerned, as human race, we find a way around things and it seems like we already have in some ways — like wearing a mask, social distancing and some basic norms, has now become a part and parcel of our lives.

“Like I have shot some ad films and it has become a second nature where we have sort of accepted this kind of living like this for a while. I hope it does not go on for too long. In this current scenario, we still have to work and a lot of people still need to earn. We also have the need and urge to channelise our thoughts and ideas. I am hoping it shapes up, and that we are not stuck to our televisions,” she continues. “I enjoy watching a lot of stuff on television but I am really missing the theatres and the outing, because cinema in all of our lives for generations has meant that like when the screen goes dark and there are people around you, it is a kind of community experience to watch and enjoy something together.”

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While films may have taken a back seat for a bit, Shinde is going to be busy with her role as the jury member of the upcoming virtual edition of the KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Film Festival.

Calling it an “extremely unique” event, she says, “I have been wanting to be a part of this jury for some years now. I am very glad, honoured and proud to be a part of it. it is about a very unique expression that has deserved a space a platform for a long time. It’s like women’s stories have not been told and expressed for a very long time, it is also about all other kinds of people and their unique stories and their points of view. That kind of gaze cinematically is very important and it’s a wonderful platform and I ended up seeing beautiful films.”

She further adds that for her, cinema needs to fulfil three things. “Engage, entertain and have something original and unique to say that make some sort of impact as you close your laptop or television screen. There has to be something that lingers in your mind, that has done something to your heart. These three essentials are what I will look for as a jury member, and even as an audience member,” Shinde concludes.

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