The room where we cook up all our ideas is the kitchen: Amit Kumar, Asif Kapadia on friendship
New Delhi, May 19 (PTI) "Monsoon Shootout" director Amit Kumar and Oscar-winning filmmaker Asif Kapadia, who have been friends since their college days and have collaborated on "The Last Hour", say kitchen is the place where they come up with most of their creative ideas.
Kapadia, known for his documentaries "Senna", "Amy" and "Diego Maradona", has turned executive producer for Kumar and his wife Anupama Minz's supernatural crime series that dropped on Amazon Prime Video on May 14.
Kumar said he and Kapadia met in 1997 when he was at the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) in Pune and the "Amy" director was in the film school at the Royal College of Art, London.
"Asif was trying to make his graduation film in India, and we ended up working together on that. And somehow, from then on we've been working together," Kumar told PTI in a Zoom interview from Mumbai.
Kapadia, who tuned in from London, said Kumar mentioned the series nearly a decade ago and he is happy that his friend's dream has come true after a "long journey".
"We've been working together since the late '90s. We've made short films together, we've worked on feature films together and now we've done a series together. Amit is basically family. Whenever we meet, whenever we talk, or whenever we catch up, we're talking about ideas and stories," the filmmaker said, adding that his aim is to push his friend to convert his ideas and concepts into reality.
"We live on the opposite ends of the world most of the time, but when he's in London, he'll stay with me and when I'm in Bombay I'll go and stay with him. And somewhere out of all of this, we've been creating work all this time," he added.
Kumar said most of their ideas come up while they are cooking together, with the kitchen becoming an integral part of their discussions.
"The unusual room where we end up mostly cooking up our ideas has been the kitchen, and while having dinner and then after dinner. So the kitchen is such an integral part of all our ideas," Kumar said.
To which, Kapadia quipped, "You know, all roads lead to the stomach." The friends have been involved closely with each other's projects but "The Last Hour", set in Sikkim and its shamanic traditions, is the first time that they have collaborated on a series.
Starring Sanjay Kapoor, Karma Takapa, Shaylee Krishen, Shahana Goswami, Robin Tamang, Mandakini Goswami and Raima Sen in key roles, the series revolves around a mysterious young shaman, on the run protecting a secret gift, who joins hands with a seasoned city cop to hunt down a dangerous figure from his dark past.
Kumar worked with Kapadia on the British director's "The Sheep Thief", "The Warrior", starring Irrfan Khan, and the 2007 Michelle Yeoh-starrer "Far North".
Similarly, Kapadia was closely involved with Kumar's short film "The Bypass", again starring Khan and Nawazuddin Siddiqui, and his feature debut "Monsoon Shootout", which was part of the 2013 Cannes Film Festival's Midnight Screening programme.
Kumar, whose "Monsoon Shootout" revolves around the few seconds it takes a cop to decide whether or not to shoot a gangster, has always been fascinated with the idea of destiny and the moments that change the course of one's life.
"I really enjoyed thinking about things like that and I obviously can't do it in real life so the only thing I can do is have fun trying to do it on-screen... I guess somewhere we all wonder about these things and the belief that there are more layers to our world than we can physically see or measure by pure science alone," the director said about "The Last Hour".
"Luckily, my co-writer, co-creator, and co-producer Anupama, who is also my wife, is very practical and she doesn't believe in the supernatural, afterlife and all this stuff," he said.
Kapadia said he is someone who likes to work around the globe and Kumar, who grew up in Africa, has a similar approach.
"That's just part of the fun of not getting pigeonholed as one type, kind of making one sort of thing for one country in one place... The world's becoming smaller in so many ways. And so it's good to always have an international way of looking at the world and international outlook... Amit and I always had this in common because he grew up in Africa, is from India, but lived and studied in France...
"Something that we have always had in common is that even though our heritage is Indian, we are kind of kids from the world. We like world cinema, and we have an overlook and an outlook on the kind of art that we want to create, which is more international and not specific to where we were born," he added.