Being an artiste is not tough, getting recognised is: Prakash Jha

Panaji: Even after giving series of critical and commercial hits with some of the biggest stars in the country, Prakash Jha says it is a constant struggle to bring his movies to theatres.

The multiple National Award-winning director, who has acclaimed films like "Damul", "Mrityudand", "Gangaajal", "Apaharan", "Raajneeti" among others to his credit, believes it is a difficult process for those who want to make a living out of art.

"It has never been easy for me to bring my films to theatres. The struggle is constant. Even after so many releases and successes it is never a cake walk.

"The standing I have in the industry brings a little bit of equity, but one should never think that they have become a brand and can release whatever they want to. Sometimes releasing a film can take the life out of you," Jha told PTI in an interview at the NFDC Film Baazar, held every year on the sidelines of International Film Festival of India (IFFI).

"Being an artiste is not tough, getting recognised is. I believe everybody is an artiste, I'm just one of those few who have pursued it as a career and it is a difficult process," he added.

From exploring the criminal-politician nexus in Bihar to questioning the system and society he lives in, Jha has always dealt with hard-hitting stories, but the director said he only tries to tell an engaging story, everything else is a byproduct.

"I find things happening around me and I see stories in them. It has always been about sharing those things. I try and understand why it is happening the way it is, give it a cinematic shape and put it in front of the world.

"Questions are always raised about how things function in our society. So when I'm making films on things happening around it will obviously have a glimpse of it. It doesn't matter how much it questions or criticises the system or products of that system. For me, a film should be engaging otherwise it won't work."

His next directorial Pareeksha , featuring Adil Hussain and Priyanka Bose in the lead, focuses on the Indian education system and aspirations of parents to give the best possible life to their children.

Jha said the idea of the film came from a story former Bihar DGP and educationist Abhayanand told him years ago.

"He has a huge contribution in educating underprivileged kids and helping them. He used to go to Naxal areas where he met kids. The parents were always on the run, but when he spoke to kids he realised they were really intelligent. He started teaching them. They got inspired and it changed the whole structure of the society of there. Few of those children even became engineers.

"I believe parents, at times, go on a wrong path to provide best education to their kids. This film is the story about a father who can go to any extent to provide best education to his child," he added.

He said "Pareeksha" is a sweet and emotional film, which charts hardships of life.

"I never think of making hard-hitting films, I just thought it was lovely story. The biggest challenge of a storyteller is to try and understand how equations between people work and then simplify it to make it palatable enough for the masses."

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