Dipannita feels lucky to not be just a 'decorative piece' in films
New Delhi : Former Miss India contestant Dipannita Sharma, now an actress, says she has been "very lucky" to have played characters in films that mean something and are not in the movie just as decorative pieces.
Dipannita has featured in Bollywood films like "16 December", "My Brother... Nikhil", "Ladies vs Ricky Bahl" and "Pizza", but has not always played the lead role.
"I played a lead actress in '16 December'. 'Ladies vs Ricky Bahl'...actually we were all lead actors from what we were told on contract because we were all cast opposite the lead actor -- Ranveer Singh. I think the audience saw it differently. That's alright," Dipannita told IANS in an email interview.
For her, it is important to play good and interesting parts that showcase her as an actor as opposed to a "meaningless lead who only has two songs in a few scenes with a really big actor".
"As an actor, I do not believe in just lead or supporting cast. I believe that a character should be interesting. There should be a reason why the character is there in the film and I must say that, so far, I've been very lucky to have played parts in films that mean something and are not in the film just as a decorative piece," she said.
She also bagged the best actress award at the Love International Film Festival in the US this year for playing a mother in the Assamese film "Xhoixobote Dhelamite" (Rainbow fields).
"It is extremely encouraging for a regional film industry like... the Assamese film industry, which has been struggling for a while although it has immense talent. You can tell a story in the Assamese language and it can be accepted worldwide; that itself is a great feeling. It gives a lot of hope for the industry," she said.
"At the festival, they had over 150-160 entries from... Iran, Germany and other countries. Ours was probably the only film from India. I feel this particular film festival looks at healing the world through cinema, bringing the world together through cinema.
"Our film talks a lot about healing, our film's content is what has created a lot of interest in it."
The semi-autobiographical film takes inspiration from events from director Bidyut Kotoky's life and is based on the psychological trauma that children in Assam went through during a period of agitation in the 1980s.
Dipannita, who hails from Assam, is also working on her own company called North East Film Studio.
"North East Film Studio is a very big and wide dream of mine and my business partners. It is something which is beyond the dream, it's our passion. It is something that we are working towards... to shift focus to northeast India in a mainstream manner and something like this takes time.
"There's a lot of work going into it and we are working on the first project. It should take shape within the next few months," she said.
What type of movies is she planning to promote?
"I have loved or love being part of cinema. Now that I've done my first Assamese film, I've realised that I enjoy working in my native language as well, and that's great; but as an actor or as a producer, I don't think I'd like to limit myself to just doing one kind of cinema and just doing Hindi or Assamese or English.
"I just want to be a part of -- and create and do -- good cinema and, yes, I have a huge connect with Assamese. It's a different approach when I'm doing my native language film."
More than work, it is an emotional experience for her.
Would she like to make a film on what's happening in Assam like on lynch mobs or the National Register of Citizens?
"This question is little tricky. It's very difficult to say at this stage whether I want to make a film on these issues. I would like to make films that I believe in. If tomorrow I feel strongly about any of these issues, and I feel a script can be woven around it, then sure, I would be very happy to make it.
"There are lot of other issues pertaining to Assam that I wish to make a feature film on, or I feel deeply about. Whether or not I will be able to translate that into a feature film, is a matter of time and a matter of several factors including economics and a solid script that needs to be woven around a real life incident."
(Natalia Ningthoujam can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)