Ashim Ahluwalia grew up in Bombay before going to study film at Bard College in New York. His first film, John and Jane (2005) took place in a call centre in India, where the employees have to answer like Americans. This film debut, mid-way between fiction and documentary, drew considerable notice and was selected for many international festivals.
Ashim Ahluwalia is also a maker of videos. He has been exhibited at the Tate Modern (London), the Museum of Modern Art (New York) and the Centre Pompidou (Paris). He is also makes advertisements and has his own production company. All of this alongside Bollywood.
Miss Lovely takes place in the 1980s, in the world of Indian Z-series films, called "C grade Hindi cinema", a blend of horror, gangsters and porn. Ashim Ahluwalia had initially imagined a documentary on this subject, but in the end, no one dared show their face in front of the camera.
Ashim Ahluwalia © DR
Un Certain Regard Questionnaire: Ashim Ahluwalia for Miss Lovely
What does Un Certain Regard mean for you?
It's a beautiful doorway through which my film can enter the world.
Why is film essential for you?
Because it's the only religion I follow.
What genre of cinema or what film has been a continuous inspiration for you?
Japanese New Wave (Nuberu bagu)
What question would you like to put to the director of your choice?
To Fassbinder: "How was it physically possible to make so many incredible films so fast?"
What do you expect from the Festival de Cannes?
I hope that my film will contribute in some small way to breaking the clichés associated with Indian cinema.
A word on your first day in Cannes?
The film will be screened in Salle Debussy, Thursday 24 May at 11 a.m. and 5 p.m.