India continues to fascinate director Susanne Bier
A fascination for India and a cultural attraction towards the country made Academy Award-winning Danish filmmaker Susanne Bier to set a part of her new film in India.
Interacting with mediapersons at the 43rd International Film Festival of India here Sunday, Susanne said her 2006 film "After The Wedding" had a part of the plot set in India, where the protagonist lived and managed an orphanage.
"I've always had a fascination with India. I've been reading a lot of Indian literature. India is culturally influential in ways you may not realise. Besides history, there is a much more substantial influence.
"So having to make my character live outside of Denmark, India became the place naturally," said the 52-year-old, adding that it was "important to somehow educate, tell the audience to embrace the multicultural world".
"After The Wedding", being screened at the film festival, stars Mads Mikkelsen, a Danish actor known for his role as a poker-playing villain in the James Bond film "Casino Royale".
Bier's film "In a Better World" won an Oscar for the Best Foreign Film last year.
She said her interest was not about movies per say but about storytelling. "For me, movies are the best tool for doing that."
Bier said several producers had approached her to make a movie based in India, but she was cautious because she was not fully aware of the land and not confident to tell a story about a country and its people.
But she said she was working on a film that might open in India.
"It is a romantic comedy which has a serious element. It deals with the theme of cancer," she said, adding that to familiarise herself with Indian cinema, she would buy a bagful of DVDs.
Bier also drew an unlikely parallel between filmmaking and architecture, adding that her interest in architecture was the reason why she became a filmmaker.
"While doing architecture you deal with houses and I became increasingly interested in the people who inhabit these houses. Training in architecture has been a great help with being a film director, because the blueprint of a building is really like a script and it does teach you a certain discipline while shooting a movie," she said.