Chennai International Film Festival

Wish I was the Director of ‘Forrest Gump’!: Dir. Hamidreza Ghotbi

Dir. Hamidreza Ghotbi is a theatre person turned Director. In a casual chat with Divya Jay of the CIFF team he tells us his favourite genres of films and how he feels about his film making it to CIFF for the 2nd time in a row!

Divya Jay: How and what made you get into films and filmmaking?
Dir. Hamidreza Ghotbi: I started my acting and directing career in theatre and then in 1985 I continued my journey as an assistant director and making short & documentary films. I made my first movie “Jame Daran” in 2013 that won the Best Film award in the 14th Chennai International Film Festival (2016). My second venture is “That Night’s Train”, a film for children and young adults.

Divya Jay: What are the hurdles in the path of a filmmaker?
Dir. Hamidreza Ghotbi: Writing a different and amusing script for the audience, gathering necessary investment to make the movie, choosing proper cast and crew, overcoming censorships and relevant restrictions and finally struggling to release the film commercially and avoiding any possible economic failure.

Divya Jay: What genres of films do you like making?
Dir. Hamidreza Ghotbi: My main field of interest is family and social issues. Moreover, drama feature films have always been within my spotlight.

Divya Jay: What does it take to be a good filmmaker?
Dir. Hamidreza Ghotbi: Persistence and tolerance are essential in achieving the aim in making a feature film. Those who do not have the necessary financial means have no other choice but resistance and tolerance.

Divya Jay: How is short film making differ from making feature films?
Dir. Hamidreza Ghotbi: Before making feature films, I have made a few short and documentary films not only targeting the educational filmmaking sector but also they have been used as important sources for film production training. Unlike short films that require a specific and eye-catching idea, a feature film requires a thoughtful perspective due to its long and extensive narrative.

Divya Jay: How do you pick your cast/crew for the film?
Dir. Hamidreza Ghotbi: Of course the casting of actors and actresses should be based on their similarity with the idea of the written role. However, to be honest due to some financial issues this is not been the case for my film.

Divya Jay: Tell us about your favourite filmmakers.
Dir. Hamidreza Ghotbi: I like filmmakers such as Billy Wilder, Akira Kurosawa, David Lean, Scorsese and recently Nolan and Tornatore. Moreover, I wish I was the Director of the films “Forrest Gump” & “Interstellar”.

Divya Jay: Please give a message to budding filmmakers.
Dir. Hamidreza Ghotbi: Cinema is that blazing hell that burns its creators with its fascinating colours. However, many other creators awake from the ashes that remain and flame.

Divya Jay: How does it feel to be making a comeback at CIFF?
Dir. Hamidreza Ghotbi: Of course I’m pleased to be selected once again by the prestigious Chennai International Film Festival and I hope that we will meet once again in a corona free world which is kinder and friendlier.