The creative mind of writer Ishani Banerjee is a force to reckon with. In the past, she has penned powerful stories of films like Aligarh and the web series Human. Her latest offering is the show School Of Lies, which began streaming on an OTT platform on June 2. It is helmed by Avinash Arun Dhaware and stars Nimrat Kaur, Aamir Bashir and Sonali Kulkarni. The Free Press Journal caught up with Ishani for an exclusive interaction.
Talking about how the idea of School of Lies germinated, she shares, “Avinash and I came across incidents in different boarding schools. When I read those, I thought there could be an interesting show on it, which is not a who done it kind but with a more layered narrative. That was the seed that when things started for us. Later, the platform came on board as they really liked the idea.”
She last co-wrote Human, which was also a social thriller. When asked if she has a comfort zone in telling such kinds of stories, she says, “Usually what happens is that I tend to tell stories that are relevant in whatever context, I always look for human stories. When people make social thrillers, they have a very preachy narrative. I am very consciously keeping away from this. I strongly believe that if there is a human element in any story and characters are relatable, then it would work.”
OTT has been a saving grace for the content landscape. When asked if she feels that writers are finally getting their dues, she explains, “We are in a nascent stage. The contracts need to be better. The time and money given to the writers need to be better. Since OTT is a writers medium, it doesn’t really make it as a writers medium. The creative control should be mutual with the makers. It should not be market driven or producers driven because that kills the unique stories and voices. But, thankfully, these conversations around it are a sign that slowly and surely things are getting better.”