The Chak De casting director Abhimanyu Ray was debutant director Rupali Guha’s savior. After Rupali saw the way the new girls had been cast in Chak De, she gathered the courage to make her first film Aamras with four new girls.
“After Chak De, I was adamant. It had to be fresh faces no matter how much the pressure to get stars. I’m glad I stuck to my guns. The four news girls Vega, Natasha, Manvi and Aanchal are the backbone of my film about girl bonding.”
Debutant director Rupali Ganguly has a hard act to follow up. Her father is the formidably prolific Basu Chatterjee and her father-in-law is the equally-formidable Dulal Guha. Both legendary in their own right.
And yet Rupali had to knock from door to door to get her first screenplay approved. “I went to everyone from UTV onwards. They all said, ‘Who’ll watch this film?’ Or worse, ‘Get Shahid Kapoor to play the boyfriend.’ How could I fit Shahid Kapoor into a film about the bonding among four 18-year old girls played by four absolutely new faces?”
The story of Aamras was born from debutant director Rupali Guha’s 13-year old daughter’s Jonaki’s experiences.
Says the director, “When I was growing up, I had just one best friend and then I had my family. My daughter has a circle of eleven close friends from different strata of society. And she comes home with very different experiences. I needed to understand her world of incompatible emotions. Aamras has given me a chance to open up my daughter’s world.”
Next, Rupali is working on script called Cinderella about a girl’s dreams of a Prince Charming falling to pieces.
Regrettably, Rupali’s father Basuda is in Kolkata and has not seen the complete film. “I can’t wait for his reaction,” says the nervous daughter, and a mother whose daughter is nervously wondering how much of her life her mom has put on screen.