Mary Kom director Omung Kumar, who is re-exploring Manipur for “Yubi Lakpi” — a traditional game styled on rugby — says he is most interested in narratives about common people whose life goes through unusual incidents, thereby taking their story from nowhere to the pinnacle of success.
Asked if sports drama is his favourite genre, Omung said: “Zero-to-hero is my favourite genre. As a writer, when I look for a story, such things interest me. The achievement could be anything that makes a difference somewhere.”
“Any story — from real life, of a real character that intrigues me… I go for it. Then, of course, I put that element in a different context, whether sports, human relationship, family or anything,” added the director of films like “Sarbjit” and “Bhoomi”.
As the film “Yubi Lukpi” is set in Manipur like Mary Kom, asked what made him write another story from the northeastern part of the country, he said: “The idea was to find a story about a sport that is not much talked about. It is interesting that the game Yubi Lukpi is the mother of rugby, at least that is what the people of Manipur are claiming.
“But we hardly know about it. Also, people do not talk about the game rugby as much as cricket, football or hockey.”
The director is expecting that after the release of the film, people will take notice of the game.
He says he hopes to explore the area between Manipur towards Nagaland for the film, which will also be shot in England as the story travels there.
For now, Omung is coming back on television to judge reality TV show “India’s Best Dramebaaz”. He is excited about it.
“Since it is a children’s show, it will be quite a task for me as a judge to comment on their act, which they will perform in two minutes. In our show, we have children who are four years old, and who will perform scenes with dialogues.
“All of them are so good and I know in the process we might just part ways with some good talent because we have to choose one as the winner. Having said that, I have told these children that in the future if I need a child actor, I will take them. They are really good.”
Zee TV is where Omung started his television career over two decades ago with game show Ek Minute in the 1990s.
“I started with the Ek Minute show as an anchor. I have tried my hands at many things in the entertainment industry — whether as a film director, art director, show host and now judging a talent hunt show is a new thing for me,” said Omung.
India’s Best Dramebaaz, hosted by Shantanu Maheshwari and Vighnesh Pande, will also be judged by actors like Sonali Bendre and Vivek Oberoi. It will go on air from June 30.