Karan Johar’s advice to budding filmmakers: “If you don’t recognize the genius of others, what right do you have…”


Karan Johar decried those who know only one type of cinema and who still want to make cinema for a living. In his view, one should watch films in all languages ​​in India and around the world to get familiar with the different styles and forms of cinema.

Johar was speaking to film journalist Baradwaj Rangan for Galatta Plus. Rangan asked if he had any advice or questions for aspiring directors. Johar replied that he will first ask them if they have a story to tell and if they have seen enough movies of all kinds.

“I think it’s not a prerequisite that you’re an avid viewer. Like, I don’t have to do something 3000 times to do it right once. But I think if you haven’t looked at the great masters, the great storytellers across the country and the world, how can you say, ‘I want to be a director?’ What is your knowledge? What did you learn?” he said.

Johar said there is no need to go to film school because nowadays hopeful filmmakers have enough resources to educate themselves, as long as they are passionate. “I judge talent shows where people have self-taught dancing, all kinds of acrobatics. Self-learning is also a big phenomenon today. You can teach yourself anything you want, if you’re passionate about it,” he said.

But they, said Johar, must be familiar with the work of great directors like Pedro Almodóvar, SS Rajamouli and Steven Spielberg. Johar went on to condemn those who wish to be directors just because they weren’t good looking enough to be movie stars. “That can’t be why you’re a director. It can’t be your plan B, number one,” he said.

Johar’s next film as director – his first feature in six years – is Rocky Aur Rani Ki Prem Kahani, starring Alia Bhatt and Ranveer Singh.


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