Twist in the Tale

She cast Neena Gupta and Lalit Bahl as a Sindhi couple who live with their sons and their wives; the women are busy preparing for Teej but one daughter-in-law, played by Trimala Adhikari, harbours a secret. If you watch the way Karva Chauth is celebrated in Bollywood, you’d think it’s romantic but it’s not; it’s ritualistic and women lose their individuality,” says D’Souza, who was mentored by Vikramditya Motwane. The kind of attention to detail they showed makes you realise that if you have a good story, the format doesn’t matter,” she says. “His guidance was invaluable, and he gave me complete freedom to execute my vision. Advertising

Now in its fifth year, Shuruaat is a flagship mentorship programme that pairs young, upcoming filmmakers with industry veterans
“Adi Sonal is a traditional Teej story — I’ve done a contemporary take on it. After speaking to my mentor, Rajkumar Hirani, we turned it into home-loan agent (Bhaskar) and added a bit of mystery and suspense,” he says. There is a different theme every year, such as “shor” (noise) in 2018, and “twist” for this edition. Echoing D’Souza’s sentiment is producer-turned-director Sanjiv Kishinchandani, who made Bhaskar Calling, a comedy based on a story by Anupama Sirsalewala. Tap Tap features Chunky Pandey as a music composer who has fallen on hard times, while Guddu is the story of a young woman who runs away from her wedding to meet her soul mate. “The original idea was about an insurance agent who is called upon by a gentleman, and his son. My greatest challenge was to work with the budget that was given to us; I ended up spending my own money to make my film,” he says. This year, Kishinchandani and D’Souza films are joined by Avalokita Dutt’s winsome film, Gutthi (mentored by Amit Masurkar), Hanish Kalia’s psychological thriller Khauff (mentored by Raj Kumar Gupta) — along with Praveen Fernandes and Gaurav Mehra, who made their films, Tap Tap, and Guddu, respectively, without mentors. He also wanted to cast lesser-known actors — Kamil Shaikh plays Bhaskar, while Shahriyar Atai plays the Parsi gentleman, who has several tricks up his sleeve; the duo play off against each other with a natural ease. “I couldn’t have asked for a better cast. He has worked with Hirani before: he was a line producer on 3 Idiots, executive producer on PK, and consultant producer on Sanju. 0