I was supposed to meet Kenny in Mumbai in 2011 and we were to act in a short play together. But somehow it did not materialize. Anyway, I met Kenny in the last edition of Osian Cinefan where his film, Local Kung Fu, was selected to be screened for the public. I had a laugh riot watching the wonderful action-comedy. Now Local Kung Fu is being released by PVR on August 23rd in select cities. Local Kung Fu is certainly India’s first martial arts comedy made in a budget of only INR 1 Lakh! Kenny and his film forms a very important part of the emerging Indie Film culture, and we hope they are here to stay!
Kenny Basumatary is an actor, novelist, musician, and a wonderful person to chat with. Here he talks about his film Local Kung Fu.
Nihal: Now that your wonderful film is all set to be released by PVR, can you share with us the experience called “Local Kung Fu”?
Kenny: I’m probably going to write a book about it!
Nihal: We heard the budget of the film was just $2000, when Rupee was performing fairly better. Is this for true?
Kenny: Yes, we made a feature film with Rs. 1 Lakh and now it is being released in theatres! We had a Lakh to do whatever we wanted with. So this is what we spent it on: Rs 58,000- Canon 550D camera, accessories, lens; Rs 5,000- Rode VideoMic, Rs 15,000- Token payments for actors because something is better than nothing; the rest- on petrol, 150 rice cakes and about 200 plates of momos and noodles.
Nihal: How do you want people to recognize you: ‘Hero of Local Kung Fu’, ‘Director of Local Kung Fu’ or ‘Producer of Local Kung Fu’?
Kenny: Why would I want to be known as a producer? But the honest truth is I wish there was some way I could become an actor/director without people recognizing me. It takes a lot of effort from me not to be socially awkward, and when people recognize you or want to talk to you, you have to be polite otherwise they’ll go and tell others, “What an asshole.”
|Poster of the Film|
Nihal: What are your future plans? Shall we expect to see another action film from you?
Kenny: Of course, but ideally I would like to make a romantic comedy first. Maybe if I find a financer for making the film of my novel Chocolate_Guitar_Momos. I’ve also started my second novel – My Three Sisters. I’d love to make films in different genres. A schooldays comedy is also on my mind, but then, it all depends on what gets financed first.
Nihal: Any special moment from the film which you want to share with our readers?
Kenny: Well, my brother met his wife during the shoot. So that’s definitely special. We had so much fun throughout the whole process that I sometimes wonder why I would make anything that wasn’t comedy.
|A scene from the film|
Nihal: Before signing off, can you tell us why should one come to see Local Kung Fu?
Kenny: I’d like to invite everyone to come watch Local Kung Fu in theatres. Not to support independent cinema or something. But just to be entertained for 93 minutes. I can’t promise that it’ll change your life or make you a better person, but I can guarantee that it won’t bore either you or your nieces and nephews and cousins and parents and grandparents.
You can watch the trailer of Local Kung Fu HERE.
This interview first appeared in Youth Ki Awaaz on August 7, 2013 and in My Theatre Cafe on August 12,2013