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Critically acclaimed British director Michael Winterbottom, retrospective of whose films began at the 23rd Kolkata International Film Festival, says it is easier to take a novel as starting point for a film. Referring to his film 'Trishna', made in 2011 in the backdrop of India, Winterbottom told reporters, it was the adaptation of a Thomas Hardy novel Tess of the D'urbervilles. "We made a film titled 'Trishna' adapting the film to Indian settings," Winterbottom told a press conference at Nandan, one of the state-run complexes where the 23rd KIFF films are being screened. "I like to insert fictional characters into real environment," Winterbottom, six of whose films are part of the retrospective, said. Recalling his first stint with films as director, the Golden Bear award winner for 'In this World' said, "I had made my first film 20 years ago. And now there are 40-50 films made by first timers in Britain every year, a higher number from previous figures." "That aspect of film making has changed while I don't think technology has really changed story telling that much," he said. Asked about his tryst with Indian films, he said, "I saw films by Ray (Satyajit Ray) and touched by simplicity and use of non professional actors.
This is one genre of Indian films." "As opposite, most Hindi films are very large affairs in every way. My understanding of films here is different from your understanding of films as we see the story from different cultural points," he reasoned. Among the present Indian film makers he talked about Anurag Kashyap. "I liked his films." Apart from Trishna, five other films by Winterbottom - Welcome to Sarajevo, The Claim, The Road to Guantanamo, Everyday, On the Road - were being screened in the retrospective during the period November 11 - November 17 in the festival. The retrospective opened today with 'Everyday', a 2012-13 film on how a man and his wife work on their relationship while he is imprisoned for drug smuggling.
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