British director Peter Webber, best known for his Scarlett Johansson-Colin Firth starrer feature debut ‘Girl with a Pearl Earring’, says he would love to make a cross-cultural film with Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan.
“I would love to work to with Amitabh Bachchan. Who would not? He is a living legend. He is amazing and I would like to make a movie with him, which has elements of both India and England, basically a cross-cultural film. That would be interesting,” Webber told PTI in an interview.
The director is in India to judge the International Competition section at the ongoing Mumbai Film Festival with filmmakers Mahamat Saleh Haroun, Ritesh Batra and Ron Mann.
Webber said Bachchan and other Bollywood stars like Shah Rukh Khan enjoy huge popularity in England.
“There is a big Indian community in England, so we all know about Bollywood actors and they are really famous.” Webber is looking forward to watching some Bollywood films as he is not well acquainted with contemporary Indian cinema.
“I am not an expert on contemporary Indian films. I have not watched any but I am fond of the old era of Satyajit Ray and Guru Dutt’s times. I like those movies. I am hoping to catch on some good Indian stuff now,” the filmmaker said, adding that he would like to collaborate with Indian filmmakers.
As a part of the jury, Webber says he does not have any set criterion to mark the films in competition but will look for storyline and performances.
“I will see if a story is captivating enough, if it is told in an interesting manner and whether performances are great or not.”
Webber, who mostly chooses history as his main subject in his films, will next direct ‘Piano Tuner’, based on Daniel Mason’s acclaimed historical novel. It is set in 1886 and follows a piano tuner who receives a request by the British War Office to deliver a rare grand piano to a legendary British Officer in the remote jungles of northeast Burma.
Webber, however, would like to make a film set in the future after ‘Piano Tuner’.
“I absolutely love history, I always play around with it and the next is also on the similar lines. I am working on its script right now. It is an interesting story about the first era of globalisation and has adventure in it. But recently I made a documentary based on the future era, so that has got me interested and maybe I would make a film about what happens in 25-30 years from now,” he said.
The 16th edition of the festival kicked off last evening with the screening of Jennifer Lawrence-Bradley Cooper starrer ‘Serena’.
The festival,organized by the Mumbai Academy of Moving Image (MAMI), conferred Helen and French actor Catherine Deneuve with Lifetime Achievement Awards.
The opening ceremony was attended by Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Deepika Padukone, Kalki Koechlin, Vidhu Vinod Chopra, Ranbir Kapoor and Akshay Kumar among other Bollywood stars.