My film journey began by making short films, which were a practical training ground for me. My second short film titled The 6th Element did very well in the festival circuit. It was shown at the Cannes Short Film Corner and also got a prestigious NETPAC nomination. That gave me the impetus to write and direct my first feature film.
I had written the script of Abyakto a few years ago but I wasn’t really pitching it that actively. I was busy pitching another script instead. As usual I was facing rejection after rejection. Finally a friend of mine took me to meet a producer who got emotionally connected with the story and that’s how Abyakto’s journey began.
Abyakto is primarily a poignant tale of a mother and son. It addresses an issue which we generally don’t speak about but which is very pertinent in today’s society. I have always been intrigued by inter-personal relationships and I have always been very close to my family, especially my mother and grandmother. In fact, my childhood memories comprise secret movie outings with my grandmother. I love telling human stories and coincidentally both my films Abyakto and Guldasta happen to tell stories centered around women. May be my upbringing and way of life get reflected in my scripts.
The casting process
As far as the casting is concerned, for the mother Sathi I wanted someone who would look the part both in her 30s and 50s. Arpitadi fit that description well. Moreover, I had also been following her work closely, she’s always been a very dependable actor but I felt she was underutilised. She is just terrific in Abyakto. I think it’s her career best so far.
As for the son, I wanted someone new who had this poise and at the same time was a strong performer. Anubhav is a theatre actor from Delhi and he knows his craft very well. He is also fantastic as the son Indra.
Both the performances have been garnering praise across the globe at various national and international film festivals.
Adil Sir (Hussain) saying yes to Abyakto enhanced the whole scenario. He’s a great soul and what a performer!
Abyakto has been applauded at various national and international film festivals. It was selected at the International Film Festival of India (IFFI), it was a part of Indian Panorama and also in the International Competition Section. Abyakto received the Audience Choice Award at the Indo-German Filmweek in Berlin, and I won the Best Director Award at the Guwahati International Film Festival. It has travelled to London, Germany, Singapore, Abu Dhabi, Ireland among other places. Abyakto had a double show in Aurangabad. At Habitat Film Festival in Delhi, Abyakto received a standing ovation from more than 400 viewers. It was so so satisfying, seeing so many people getting emotionally connected with the film. There were moments which made me teary-eyed.
I’m not sure about Abyakto’s fate at the box office as it’s really different in terms of the story and deals with a lot of complex and important issues like sexuality and parenting. But my team and I have made an honest film with a lot of love and passion and I am sure it’s going to touch hearts.