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#AmarAkbar&Tony: Talking non-existent genres and cello-tape with director Atul Malhotra

Atul Malhotra’s feature directorial debut ‘Amar Akbar & Tony’ has much going for it – it’s touching and poignant; there are plenty of ‘I totally get that!’ moments (especially if you’re British Asian or you’re from London); it’s frequently and genuinely funny and, above all, it has Goodness Gracious Me stalwarts Meera Syal and Nina Wadia in unforgettable cameos – the former as a lusty cougar and the latter an Indian Bhabi with a leather fetish.

So he’s good behind the camera.

However, the same cannot be said about his ability with a roll of cello-tape.  I’m helping him put up posters of his new film at a lovely old pub somewhere in West London and he just seems incapable of unfurling the tape properly.

I don’t offer to help.  It doesn’t seem appropriate.

Director Atul Malhotra...contemplating cello-tape

His lack of dexterity with the tape is slightly worrying, given that the man who wrote and directed ‘Amar, Akbar & Tony’ is going walkabout putting up posters himself – instead of a group of studio elves. 

It is the familiar and rather depressing lot of the “independent” filmmaker – to imagine, create and peddle with an eventual pay-off rarer than, well, a “successful” independent film.  Malhotra’s lot is made exponentially worse by the fact that he’s an Indian who’s just made what is, ostensibly, a ‘British Asian’ film (although Malhotra insists there's no such genre).

It’s not all doom and gloom though.  

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