Navi Mumbaikar Ameya Khanwalkar's ‘The Girl At The Airport’ Bags Laurel At Dadasaheb Phalke International Film Fest

Navi Mumbaikar Ameya Khanwalkar's ‘The Girl At The Airport’ Bags Laurel At Dadasaheb Phalke International Film Fest

Ameya recently won laurels when his 21-minute short film ‘The Girl at the Airport’, was selected and included among Top 100 short films at the recently-concluded Dadasaheb Phalke International Film Festival (DPIFF), 2024.

Bhalchandra ChorghadeUpdated: Friday, March 15, 2024, 08:12 PM IST
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An engineer by profession, a passionate writer, profound story teller, avid filmmaker, thoughtful director and above all a hard-working young individual. All these qualities sum up into what Ameya Khanwalkar has achieved in his life of 38 years. Ameya recently won laurels when his 21-minute short film ‘The Girl at the Airport’, was selected and included among Top 100 short films at the recently-concluded Dadasaheb Phalke International Film Festival (DPIFF), 2024.

Ameya's film rocks film festivals, wins awards

Talents in the field of cinema and art have often emerged from unexpected places in the country and Ameya is a perfect example of that. Originally hailing from Jabalpur in Madhya Pradesh, Ameya made the society and the region proud with his first short film that not only enthralled the audience at various film festivals, but was also honoured with prestigious awards.

‘The Girl at the Airport’ by Ameya Khanwalkar is a suspense thriller wherein a boy gets trapped under a paranormal activities by a girl whom he encounters at the airport and how he tries to get himself out. The short film has been highly appreciated by the eminent talents and critics of the film world.

Ameya Khanwalkar

Ameya Khanwalkar |

Besides being mentioned among ‘Top 100 Shorts’ at the DPIFF, the film was premiered at Yellowstone International Film Festival at Gurugram and since then, he has bagged the award for Best Director and Best Indian Short Film at the Calcutta International Cult Film Festival. Apart from this, he was also honoured with the Best Short Film and Best Director awards at the World International Film Festival, Dubai International Cine Carnival, Cuckoo International Film Award (Chennai) and others.

Ameya assisted Sanjay Leela Bhansali on Gangubai

Ameya learned the nuances of film direction and film production when he was assisting ace director Sanjay Leela Bhansali for his acclaimed film ‘Gangubai Kathiawadi’. Apart from this, Ameya has established his own production house Anigma Studios under which new and unique stories will be presented through films and talented storytellers who will be given opportunities and encouragement.

“When I was working with Bhansali Sir, I understood the technicalities involved in the film making and got to know that film direction is a terrific job. You need to have a vision of each shot to be directed and clear picture in your head about how to bring the character on the screen. While directing the short film, I kept all these things in mind and tried to give justice to the story,” Ameya, who is currently working in Dubai as cyber security consultant, said.

On how he finalised the story, Ameya said he got the idea from one of his friends who had written a short story. “On reading his story, it immediately attracted me towards the subject and I asked my friend if I can make a film. He obliged and allowed me to take some creative changes in the story. He particularly liked the changes I did in the climax,” Ameya said and added that he started shooting the film in December, 2022 and completed the post-production in July, 2023.

Ameya now writing his first feature film

He started listing his short film in various festivals since August, 2023 and has bagged 11 awards along with one nomination in a short span of 5-6 months. “My joy knew no bounds when I received a mail stating that my film has been shortlisted among Top 100 Shorts at the Dadasaheb Phalke International Film Festival which is the biggest platform to showcase your creation. It was really a big thing for the first film by a debut director. I am really thankful to my lead actors—Pranay Pachauri and Riya Suman, my family, friends and well-wishers for believing in me and supporting me throughout,” Ameya said.

On asked about his future plans, the movie maker said, “I am currently writing a script for my first feature film, which is a romantic comedy. I would like to see myself as an established filmmaker in the years to come. For that, I would be shifting to Mumbai permanently by the end of this year.”

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