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Took me 10 years to make directorial debut, says Cinematographer Kabir Lal

Took me 10 years to make directorial debut, says Cinematographer Kabir LalMumbai, Mar 3 (IANS): Veteran cinematographer Kabir Lal makes his directorial debut this year with a multilingual project that will have different versions across four languages. He says he always wanted to be a film director but since he has been a visual storyteller, initially he only got a chance to work as a cinematographer.

“When I started my career, since I was a photographer and videographer — and also in my younger days it was about shooting in analog — I grabbed the opportunity as a photographer and cinematographer. But I always have an interest in visual storytelling. With time on every film that I shot as a DOP (director of photograohy), I learnt a lot of other aspects of filmmaking. So, after a point I was sure I wanted to direct films, but it took me 10 years since I made up my mind to finally make my debut film as a director,” Lal told IANS.

He is directing a remake of the Spanish film Julia’s Eye in four languages — Tamil, Telugu, Marathi and Bengali.

In the Marathi version, Manjari Fadnnis plays the protagonist while in the Bengali film Rituparna Sengupta plays the main role.

Lal is known for his cinematography in films such as Pardes, Hum Apke Dil Mein Rehte Hai, Taal, and Kaho Naa…Pyaar Hai among others.

Asked about what is the most challenging part of becoming the director, the veteran mentioned: “In one word, from being the ‘director’ of photography to directing everything on set. This is a journey from script to screen, so I had to switch off my mind as a DOP who is mainly focused on visual, set, light, and treatment of a scene, to how to extract performance from an actor, how to execute the scene from words to a living story. It is a balance that I had to find and it is tough for me. I have been working as a DOP for years now, so thinking visually is my second nature.”

A major part of his debut project has been shot in Uttrakhand and the rest of the film will be shot in various parts of the country.

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