“aLL yOu neeD iS One yeS” interview by Zsuzsanna Deák ritesh Batra, whose ﬁrst feature The Lunchbox was everyone’s favourite ﬁlm in 2013, participated in the Berlinale Talent Campus in 2012 with his then new project. We had a short but exciting chat when i managed to get hold of him quickly between Sundance and his trip to Mexico. He told me about Berlin, what short ﬁlms mean to him and where he is headed next.
Would you ever go back and make shorts or do you want to concentrate on feature films in the future? I just made a new short called Masterchef for the Sundance-Gates foundation programme on global hunger. I plan to make another one soon. What did the Berlinale Talent Campus give to you - any artistic or practical knowledge you had never been able to find elsewhere?
How did you get the idea to make a film about the intricate system of the Dabbawalas (the people who deliver lunchboxes)?
It was wonderful to pitch to a great audience. It got the film a lot of attention and helped to bring many pieces of financing together, months aer the pitch. I would say I definitely learnt to pitch better in Berlin and also to talk about my stories. The Talent Project Market was instrumental in getting The Lunchbox made, our German co-producers Rohfilm came on board here and we started working together.
I grew up in Bombay. My mum used to send a lunchbox for my dad every day, but I only became interested in them aer I’d le and came back. At the end of all our journeys, we will come back home and see it for the first time, as they say.
What is your view on short film as a format? It is a great format to practice one’s skills and also to learn to keep working, because features take a while to come together and it is important to keep working.
10 WOSH by Daazo.com
The endings of your films - both in the case of your short Café Regular and e Lunchbox – are open to several diﬀerent interpretations and many of us like it that way. How do you personally see the story of these couples continue? Aer the film is done it belongs to the audience. It matters how they think it ends, not what I think.
World of Shorts (WOSH), the magazine published by Daazo.