Imtiaz Ali’s love for photography and Delhi as is evident from his social media and films, respectively, is no secret. Channelling his fondness for the two, he has now collaborated with National Geographic and Indigo Airlines’ new photography reality show, #nofilterbyIndiGo, which will see him taking on the role of a jury member alongside photographer Raghu Rai. It will see a total of nine contestants capturing the essence and emotions of Delhi with their unfiltered shots.
In an exclusive interaction with News18 Showsha, the filmmaker talks about his love for photography and how he plans on pursuing it more seriously going forward. “I’m very fond of photography and visual image making. I don’t get to do still photography very often as a film director. I’m always demoralised with the presence of a better photographer with me in the form of a cinematographer. I don’t end up taking too many photographs by myself except for through a regular phone camera that I use to click pictures of food, places and faces. But the camera is very fascinating for me even though I haven’t really followed through my passion of individual photography that much. Life is long, so maybe I will eventually,” he shares.
Talking about the show that he will be judging, he elaborates, “Much of what I now enjoy in life which are travelling, meeting people, great cuisine and architecture have come from NatGeo. It was interesting and thrilling for me to get called for an initiative that’s all about storytelling through photography. This is a community building exercise for photographers and also encouraging them in a world where it seems like everything can be changed, filtered and manipulated, image-wise.”
Ali intends on helping young photographers ‘harness the raw impact of photography’. “I really like this initiative because while everything can be controlled, the power of raw photography is still supreme. Those are the principles of this initiative and I completely agree with them. The show premiered on September 30 and will air every Saturday at 8:00 pm and urge everyone to check it out,” he adds.
Many of his films including Love Aaj Kal (2009), Rockstar (2011) and Tamasha (2015) have been widely shot across the national capital. Delhi also holds a special place in his heart for he spent a considerable time of his adolescent years in the city. Talking about how he hasn’t still finished exploring Delhi through his films, Ali says, “Delhi has an unlimited amount to give to visual storytelling. I feel very excited at the prospect of shooting in Delhi and I feel like it will never exhaust itself. There’s too much drama in Delhi.”
Ali has carved a niche for himself for his nuanced storytelling both visually and otherwise. So, which according to him is his most visually stunning film? “I feel three or four of my films have done well in terms of photography and visual representation but in different ways. These films are Tamasha, Highway (2014) and Rockstar,” he states.
The director, who is currently working on Chamkila starring Diljit Dosanjh and Parineeti Chopra, further continues, “Tamasha showcased visual photography and the fact that each frame looked like a photograph was something that was taken very literally by us when we shot certain parts of it. The landscape of Highway is such that it’s very difficult to compare that quality with anything else. In Rockstar, the prospect of storytelling through a visual frame was very interesting for me.”