Seasoned filmmaker Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari, who is known for helming films like Nil Battey Sannata, Panga and Bareilly Ki Barfi, has always told stories keeping her female characters in focus without being preachy. Faadu – A Love Story is her maiden digital release. It stars Pavail Gulati and Saiyami Kher. In an exclusive chat with The Free Press Journal, Ashwiny talks about her latest venture and more.
Opening up about her thoughts on society’s change in attitude towards women, she shares, “For me, I got to work with such progressive women from different backgrounds of life and also since I belong to the generation that has normalised having a girl child. I have friends around me who prefer to have a girl child over boys. I could see a huge change in the behaviour but it took a lot of effort to honour a girl child in the society.”
Talking about why her films aren’t preachy, she explains, “We are already in the times of social media so I don’t think storytelling needs to be preachy. As filmmakers, it is our responsibility to bring out stories that can inspire the society in a subtle way. My characters, be it a man or a woman are not white and black, they are grey and also they self evaluate. In Faadu – A Love Story too, Saiyami being a woman of a few words, she has a very strong voice. More than a woman's outer beauty, her mind matters to me the most.”
Ashwiny is considered as a solid filmmaker of our Hindi film industry today. When asked if she feels more responsible as the expectations of the audiences are huge, she reveals, “Every time when I have to tell a story, the responsibility comes since I am making my body of work. With leadership and maturity, responsibility comes too. Yes, I am responsible with the kind of stories I have to tell out there but at the same time, they will come from my heart. If you notice my characters, they all have some kind of gratification in the end.”
In the past, Ashwiny has worked with established artistes like Swara Bhasker, Kangana Ranaut and Kriti Sanon. When asked the reason she chose to cast Pavail and Saiyami in Faadu – A Love Story, who are relatively new, she avers, “If you see my body of work, I have always worked with different kinds of actors be it Swara or Pankaj (Tripathi). When I cast Kriti, she was comparatively new, RajKummar (Rao) had a very different character, even Ayushmann (Khurrana) had a slightly negative tone to his character. I made Kangana play a mother in Panga, a subdue of what she is otherwise. I like working with actors, who are not explored. Both Pavail and Saiyami haven’t done something like this ever before.”
On a parting note, Ashwiny throws light on the classification of stories as a filmmaker according to parameters of OTT and theatres. “I want to tell a good story and I am okay to tell it in any medium. I feel a story like Faadu – A Love Story needed to be told in a web series space. I could have navigated the characters for the big screen, but it requires far more maturity to tell a story in a web series format since it’s episodic and you get enough time with each and every character you write,” she signs off.
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