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He brings real to the reel

Omung Kumar, National Award winning director of the movie ‘Mary Kom’ was in Goa to bring in his birthday. It also marked the launch of his wife, Vanita’s interior store ‘Bioscopewali’. The director who will soon be a permanent resident here, caught up with NT BUZZ for a quick tete-a-tete

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Omung Kumar has been prominently known for his works in Hindi cinema as a production designer, art director and a successful film director too. While he’s seen on screen as a judge of the children’s reality show ‘India’s Best Dramebaaz’, it is his work behind the camera that you normally get to see.

He has designed the set of reality show ‘Big Boss’ over the past seven seasons. He’s lent his touch of creativity to films like ‘Black’ (2005) and ‘Saawariya’ (2007), besides being the anchor and man responsible for the grandeur and elegance of the International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) Awards for a decade.

Talking about his 15-year journey in the film industry, starting out with television and then moving on to films as an art director with ‘Dil Hai Tumhara’ (2002) Omung says, “I didn’t expect a national award at that time, it just happened. The award did take my journey to a different level, having directed three films I’m looking for more – better and bigger movies.”

His hands are currently full and he is tight-lipped about a project that will go on floors once it’s announced in November. What we do know is that he is going to
direct another sports film, ‘Yubi Lupki’ based on a sport played in Manipur that is close to rugby.

Post ‘Mary Kom’, he directed ‘Sarbjit’ (2016) which was a hit at the box office. Making biopics may not be the right formula to attain success at the box office, but Omung says people like inspiring stories. “It’s not really like that. The trend of making biopics started in America. And though it was to arrive long ago in India, it came pretty late. Success or not can’t be determined based on the genre, but yes, real life stories, and inspiring stories are something that people want to see.”

Flooded with requests from people who come with scripts wanting him to make a film on their lives, Omung chooses only to do inspiring stories. “It is a new genre in India that has been done abroad for donkey’s years and still
continues. We’ve reached this phase where everyone wants to tell their story. But yes, real stories are very inspiring,” he adds.

For the last seven seasons, Omung and his wife Vanita have been designing the sets of Big Boss. Talking about their experience, he says: “Working on Big Boss sets for us is like a dream. We get the freedom of creativity here. We are always ahead, planning for the next year.” The beach house this year, he says was his wife Vanita’s idea that took inspiration from the bond they share with Goa. “It’s so much fun to design the set, especially keeping in mind so many cameras. Yes, it’s cluttered and people have to stay in there for three months, but we put a lot of thought to it,” he says.

Commenting on the sexual harassment accusation made by actor Tanushree
Dutta against Nana Patekar, Omung is quick to say that people have to stand up and talk about it. “We need to back whoever is in this situation. For me this is a good step that happened, and I back Tanushree Dutta completely. The truth should come out.”

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