In the coming weeks, we will see many directors making their debut in the Hindi film industry. Aleya Sen Sharma who is a known name in the ad film world, will be debuting with Dil Juunglee. She shares her journey and talks to Soumita Sengupta about her first film. Over to them:
I started my career with ad films. I assisted Pradeepda (Sarkar) and then started directing. I then married an ad filmmaker, Amit Sharma, and we now have a company that makes ad films. I’ve loved telling stories since I was a child and that’s why I also write. So debuting with a love story comes naturally to me.
On Dil Juunglee
People who know me know that love stories come naturally to me and that’s how Dil Juunglee happened. In real life, I am the exact opposite of my lead character but I have lots of friends who are like that character which came into being after I witnessed various people in my life. That’s how the story of Dil Juunglee developed. It’s about how junglee my characters are when it comes to love. It’s a sweet and fresh love story, which the youth and anyone who believes in love will connect with.
Choosing The Debut Film
I have been directing ad films for a very long time. It was not a conscious decision to make a feature film; things just happened to fall in place. When we developed the story, it was but natural that I decided to make it into a feature film.
I shot a music album with Taapsee Pannu and Saqib Saleem and I enjoyed the way the two of them bonded with each other. Both of them also hail from Delhi. After we finished shooting, I was shocked to learn that they had met for the first time on our set because their chemistry was crackling. You know, sometimes, you just click with someone and it feels like you’ve known the person for ages. The chemistry stayed with me and when I developed this film, they obviously came to my mind. That’s how I wanted my characters to be.
From Ad To Feature Films
I love the craft of filmmaking. Whether ad or (feature) films, everything starts with storytelling. Yes, timing matters but it’s the way you want to tell the story. From 30-seconders to 3 minutes, I have worked on all formats in ad films, where one has to keep it crisp and tight and sell your brand in that many seconds.
But when it comes to feature films, one can play with emotions for minutes rather than seconds. Here too, one has to keep it crisp and tight but the story telling process is different. Comic timing has a longer spread when it comes to feature films; it is very difficult to make comic ads as it is all about timing. The difference is in timing.
I used to listen to stories about how a unit bonds on the sets but I never believed those stories because, with ad films, you are out for a maximum 3 days. But for this film, we lived together for a month in London and then shot in many other places. During that time, the entire unit bonded so strongly that during the wrap, everyone was very emotional. Thanks to the bonding that we all experienced, the chemistry in my film is effortless and completely natural.
Byline – Soumita Sengupta