Jalandhar-born director Minar Malhotra is five films old in Pollywood. Minar, we hear, is also a good actor and writer. He gets candid with us…
The audience is now moving toward content. As a director what do you think works in your favour?
This has always been my way of working. I always go for a good script.
From Lovely Te Lovely to Dulla Bhatti Wala to Rubb Rakha and Lai Lag, how has been your journey in Pollywood as a director?
I am still learning. My journey has been very good. Thanks to my team of writers, producers, actors and music directors for their valuable support. It has been a good experience for me.
You are a reputed director, writer and actor. Which one field you enjoy the most and why?
I enjoy directing, writing and acting. I want to excel in all three departments.
Do your producers give you the creative freedom?
Mostly we are on the same page. But sometimes there are little problems about some creative angles. But nothing is more important than an idea. An idea has to work.
What kinds of stories interest you?
I like emotional stories with good content.
What keeps you going?
My passion and interest.
How do you choose your actors? Do you write stories with actors in mind or do the stories choose the actors?
Normally the story chooses the actors. When you have a big budget, we write the script with certain actors in mind. It is all depend on the situation.
What are your future projects?
Wadda Bai is all set to see a digital release on October 9. Next on the list is Ambra De Taare. It will also release on the digital platform in December.
How has Covid-19 affected the Punjabi film industry?
The entire entertainment industry has been affected and Punjabi films are no exception. The projects are delayed, cinemas are closed, technicians, supporting actors and daily job workers are jobless and it is a very sad situation for everyone.
What are your three mantras for making a good film?
There are no mantras for me. I choose a good script, good cast and good technicians. Rest is our hard work.
In the new scenario, how are you maintaining social distance and hygiene?
I am following the government’s guidelines very carefully. I am editing my film Wadda Bai and writing a script. I am working from home.
What you have learnt from this lockdown?
We can do everything on our own.
Do you think OTT is the future?
Yes, but cinema is cinema. OTT has definitely taught everyone a lesson that content is important and we can never take the audience for granted.
Would you like to direct a web series?
Yes. I am already writing a few scripts for web series.
What changes do you see in yourself post Covid-19?
I have improved my learning skills during this time.
Punjabis are popular all over. Why?
Punjabis are generous people. They take risk, work hard and survive in every situation with bravery.
Your favourite Punjabi dishes?
Rajmah-chawal is my favourite food.
Which is the best place to eat Punjabi food in Punjab?
For me it is my home in Jalandhar. I love to eat home-made food.
A Punjabi film which is close to your heart?
Carry on Jatta.
Three prominent holy places in Punjab you like the most?
Harminder Sahib, Alamgir Sahib Gurudwara Sahib and Shesh Ganj Gurudwara Sahib.
How are you keeping yourself fit these days?
Workout and healthy food.
— Dharam Pal
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