Nil Battey Sannata releases this Friday, and if the promos are any indication, the Swara Bhaskar starrer film is set to be a bitter sweet endearing tale in the offering.
This is the kind of end product that first time director Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari wanted to adopt for her debut feature film when she was set out to tell a tale for the big screen.
“I was in advertising and in the creative side of things. I was heading a group where I used to look after the Sony Entertainment account. This is when we did this campaign for KBC. We had an idea
of making something around a girl child and the line ‘mubaarak ho, ladki hui hai’ saw some good appreciation coming its way. I could see how that resonated so well with the audience,” says Ashwiny.
“In my head, I have always been very socially touched and affected by things around me, especially when it comes to those related to women. In my mind it was that this one ad that stayed on and set
me thinking that what if we could bring something on these lines for a larger audience. I then made a short film which happened to get a Dadasaheb Phalke award. It was one way to test my skills and
that set the ball rolling,” she continues.
She was sure though even if she was set to out to make a film cantered on an issue, it won’t be boring cinema or get restricted into the arty zone.
“In our country, we are very segregated when it comes to making films,” she says, “When it comes to popular cinema, it has upper or middle class families. The moment we show lower middle class, it
is classified as parallel cinema, or something which is boring. I wanted to move away from that stereotype. Nil Battey Sannata isn’t parallel cinema; it is a ‘mazedaar’ film for all.”
The inception of the film was quite interesting too.
“One morning my husband Nitesh (Tiwari) was sipping tea and he shared with me a one line idea. I thought it was brilliant. So he, I and a couple of writers (Neeraj Singh, Pranjal Choudhary) who
have never written a screenplay came together and started writing. We did that over weekends for one year. See, something may sound really exciting on paper as a core idea but then it could have
gone either way in a full blow script.”
Meanwhile, the challenge was to stay away from being preachy.
Says Ashwiny, “You have to truly believe in something and tell it all in an entertaining way that touches your mind. We had to carefully craft the screenplay and bring on a mixed balance of humor
and emotions. People don’t want to hear gyaan. Period.”