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“Your debut project is very important”

Her grandfather was a poet and writing came naturally to her. A journalist turned full-time writer for Hindi films, Bhavani Iyer made her debut with Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s critically acclaimed film Black.

First Break

I was working as a journalist with a leading magazine when I met Anurag Kashyap, who had read my short stories. He liked them and suggested I try writing screenplays. He also introduced me to Vikramaditya Motwane, who had then just finished with Devdas. Sanjay Leela Bhansali was also looking for a writer. Motwane introduced me to Sanjay, who liked my idea and soon we started working on my first project, Black.

First Impression

I have had no trouble getting a break into Hindi films and also the subsequent projects came to me easily. I believe your first project is very important. You need to choose your debut film very carefully because that film will establish you and showcase your capabilities to the industry.

On Sanjay Leela Bhansali

Sanjay is my mentor even though we are polar opposites on the creative front. We are opposites, right from the expression of our work to putting it on screenplay. I am into classical literature and poetry and his forte is music. My vision is a little modern whereas he is extremely traditional. But since I was a newcomer, he put extra faith in me and our energy worked very well together.

On Vikramaditya Motwane

Vikram is more like a buddy. His way of crafting is different. His taste in literature is different but we share a great bond.

Film Is A Director’s Medium

Film is a director’s medium and he is the captain of the ship. Whatever we do has to be done according to the director’s vision because a film is his interpretation of the written word. Writing defeats its very purpose when an imaginary audience is constantly at the back of the writer’s mind. What attracts me to writing is the human drama, conflicts and the story of a character.

On Lootera

Vikram and I were working on a film called Bombay Talkies (not the one which just released). It was a complicated film and so we decided to work on it later. Then we started working on Lootera, which is a very emotional story. Actually, we wrote Lootera simultaneously with Bombay Talkies but we got so involved with Lootera that we wrote the screenplay together.

Future Projects

I am working on a television series called 24 and then I have Onir’s next film based on Shakespeare’s Hamlet.

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