Oscar-winning British director wants to explore India for stories

By Natalia Ningthoujam

New Delhi: He has never had a “direct experience” in India, but wants to visit the country, which has an “interesting relationship” with his native Britain. Oscar-winning filmmaker James Marsh says he would love to visit India some day to find a story.

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Marsh has creatively used films as a medium to tell stories of renowned people, including theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking.

“The Theory of Everything” director even won an Oscar for helming “Man on Wire” – a documentary based on the French high-wire artist Philippe Petit.

He says he is yet to get a taste of India, but would love to come here for story hunting.

“It’s a fascinating country. I would love to go to India to find a story to tell. It will be great,” Marsh told IANS in a telephone interview from London.

While that can still wait, he is currently happy that a wide Indian audience will get to watch “The Theory of Everything”, which hit the Indian screens earlier this year, on Star Movies Select HD on Saturday.

Asked about the importance of the film’s TV premiere in India, he said: “I didn’t have any direct experience in India, but I imagine it’s a way by which the film will be seen by more people than in cinemas. So, it’s a very important place to find an audience. We are very happy about it and want to support in the best way we can.”

He hopes the Indian audience like the small screen premiere of “The Theory of Everything, which narrates the story of Hawking, who falls in love with a fellow Cambridge student Jane and how a once healthy, active young man, Hawking receives an earth-shattering diagnosis of Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a form of motor neuron disease at 21 years of.

“Any audience is important to me because that’s why you make a film in the first place. You hope to make a film that will cross national and cultural boundaries. In this case, the story of Stephen Hawking is universal. We can relate to the complications of that relationship…when one of them is disabled and the other has to do so much for her

“Emotions can be universal and we have a very interesting relationship between Britain and India… that’s part of the colonial legacy. Many people speak in English in India…So, it should work for the Indian audience,” he said.

Going by his work, Marsh seems to enjoy making biopics.

“The script had an interesting point of view of his wife. It was not about his scientific achievements. It’s about his marriage. It’s an emotional story and not a scientific one. It’s a story about a very complicated relationship. It’s about his wife as much as him which I think is interesting,” he said.

His next feature film is also a biopic. Based on the late British personality Donald Crowhurst, the upcoming biopic will present the story of the amateur yachtsman’s desperate attempt to win the first round of the Golden Globe Yacht Race in 1968.

“We are putting it together. It will release next year. Work is in progress. It’s an interesting true story and Colin Firth as the main character has given a great performance. I am optimistic the film is going to work,” said the filmmaker, who believes that it’s a “delicate business to make biographical films of people who are alive”.