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    I like dark humour and films that shock: Manan

    [Interview by Shinie Antony]
    Monday, May 16, 2005
    US-based Indian filmmaker Manan Singh Katohora, whose "Arya" fetched him a best director nomination by the Desi Club''''s South Asian Movie Awards along with Mira Nair and Manoj Night Shyamalan, says he likes dark humour.

    "I also like bold and beautiful films that shock," Manan told IANS in an e-mail interview from New York.
    "I love the whole game of Indian movies. I met well known theatre personality Tirlok Malik of Apple Productions in New York and he gave me a major break with `Arya'."
    The directorial debut, starring Samrat Chakrabarti, Manvi Dhoopar, Sheetal Shah, Tirlok Malik, Sonny Suri and Manan, is a psychological thriller scheduled for a global spring release this year.
    The 29-year-old, who has also acted and assisted in the direction of "Flavors" and starred in "Indian Fish in American Waters", said: "I had an MBA from Pune and a lot of time. I always loved movies so I took script writing classes and did a four-month diploma in New York University."
    "However, like all Indian parents, mine too wanted me to be an engineer. But I pined to be a filmmaker. The turmoil lay in finding myself in this chaos. As I went soul searching, I couldn't resist the climb that led to days of worship at Vaishno Devi temple in Jammu and Kashmir. I came closer to my family, started respecting women. Why women, I don't think I respected anyone before, I lived life on the edge."
    What makes a good film? "Movies with believable characters. If you have the audience empathising with the on-screen characters within 40 minutes, you've got a great movie."
    "M. Night Shyamalan is my idol. I love his movies," vouches Manan, who has just completed a short film "Paint Me Nude" with Purva Bedi of "American Desi" fame and a music video with Reggie Benjamin, Sukhbir and Brandie Roderick.
    "My religion is humanity. I embraced Buddhism, because it doesn't name a god, it's more spiritual. I would love to travel to Turkey, Spain and Tibet and learn about all faiths. Each faith is as beautiful as its country and people," Manan adds.

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