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I tried my best, but it was not so successful at the box office: Majid Majidi on Beyond The Clouds

The Iranian filmmaker spoke about the average success of his maiden Indian venture earlier this year and his experience of working with AR Rahman.

Shriram Iyengar

"I tried my best, but the box office, it was not so successful," said Iranian filmmaker Majid Majidi about his maiden Indian venture Beyond The Clouds (2018), during a conversation at the 23rd International Film Festival of Kerala yesterday.

"I became very worried about that," he admitted. "You know, I believe the movie was very good in the view of some critics also. So, I accepted all criticism."

Speaking with IFFK artistic director Bina Paul at the Tagore auditorium, Majidi said he had always wanted to make a film in India. "Even before, I wanted to make a movie in India. I wanted to work with Satyajit Ray and liked his work."

The desire came true with his decision to direct Ishaan Khatter and Malavika Mohanan in Beyond The Clouds, set in Mumbai. Speaking of the film and its lukewarm reception at the box office, the director said, "I know that making movies in India is very difficult because of 'Bollywood' [mainstream Hindi cinema]. You know, they make so many good movies in a year."

Later, answering a question, Majidi said getting permissions to shoot was also difficult in India. Describing an incident of shooting in Mumbai, he said, "There was one scene I wanted to shoot in the street, but the light was not so good. So I decided to move to another street. But they did not allow me, as I needed a different permission for it!"

However, the director does keep an interest in India. Asked about his connection with music composer AR Rahman, who also worked on his film Muhammad: The Messenger Of God (2015), Majidi said, "I've always wanted to work with Rahman. When I had suggested to Rahman, he accepted and came to the location." The director added, "I've a good relationship with him."

Sadly, Muhammad: The Messenger Of God was denied a censorship exemption certificate by the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) to be screened at the IFFK last night. 

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