INTERVIEW | Nandita Singgha’s unmatched efforts to highlight crime journalism

Lucknow: June 11, 2011 was indeed a black day for the journalists across India when journo Jyotirmoy Dey, fondly known as J Dey, was murdered by four assailants under the day light. Taking up the initiative of exploring the crime journalists deeply, noted entrepreneur turned filmmaker Nandita Singgha has started directing a series of five films, all based on crime journalists, their lives and journalism.

Nandita explains that percentage of ‘Crime Journalism’ in India has escalated since June 2011 and J Dey remained an inspiration for every journalists working on the beat since then. Nandita’s Marathi Hollywood film ‘J DEY’ will bring the professional and personal life of Crime Journalists and will also portray how their family becomes their biggest pillar of strength.

One of our PardaPhash team members, Shubhanshu Sharma had words with Nandita on phone and came to know about her upcoming projects. Here are the excerpts from the exclusive interview:

Q. A film on Crime Journalism; What it is all about?
The film is all about the journalists who are fearlessly involved in the crime journalism. I feel that they are the society heroes but at the same time people in India did not know what the crime journalism actually means. Crime journalism actually is not exposed or we can say that Indian crime journalism is not exposed to the world. People don’t take Indian media in a very serious way; so what I am trying to do through this movie is for a cause because so many people have really collapsed while representing this thing. They have been actually used and abused for the convenience of the political people or filmstars. Through this film, I hope to throw some light over the journalists, their life and journalism in India.

Q. We have heard that you have decided to make five films on journalism; Is this true?
Absolutely, and shooting of the films are going back to back.

Q: Which parts of journalism will be highlighted in these movies?
All the movies are based on crime journalism. One movie is based on J Dey murder case also. People have different perception about journalism across globe and through my movies, I want shed light over their personal and professional lives. This actually is an untold story of journalists and their psychologies. I want to portray the section of their lives when they have no time for other things rather than covering stories. These movies will get Hollywood release and these will be different from usual entertainment films.

Q. Who are the actors on your wish list for J Dey?
I would start with film ‘Red’ because that is happening first. We have three actors for Red – Noted Indian Bollywood actor Manoj Joshi, Television fame Bhuvnesh Mam and Gujarati actor Sanjay Maurya. To give our film a more realistic impact on the audiences, film also will have three real life journalists. Written and directed by Nandita Singgha, this would be completely a content driven film like the recent ‘Bahubali’. Ace director Yunus Bukhari will be look after the visual effects of the film. Red is dedicated to Mahatma Gandhi and hence the film’s trailer will be released on his birth anniversary on October 2nd.

The next film in the line will be J -Dey, the trailer for which will be released on January 26, 2016. Nanditaa Singhaa is the writer/director of the film. In addition, we have an award winning Marathi writer Parag Kulkarni. The film will also have few Marathi actors which will be finalized soon. Manoj Joshi and Bhuvnesh Mam are also there in the film.

For Hindi version of J Dey, i.e. J-Returns, several journalists have suggested the name of Mr. Perfectionist Aamir Khan but as he is working on Dangal, he cannot give us the dates. We will soon reveal the name of final cast for the film.

Q. Are you also planning to make films on other Indian social issues in future?
We wanted to specialize in a genre ‘crime journalism’ which was unexplored in India. Crime Journalism was 1% in India and now the percentage has exceeded to 18 and J Dey has worked as a role model for all the journalists. But, definitely I will also be working as co-production with other film producers and directors for other films as well in the future. But right now I am concentrating on the topic very much.

Edited by Shobhit Kalra