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Dad’s The Word

The Indian audience has become very choosy about the films they want to watch, provoking a shift from star-driven cinema to content-driven films. This change has thus given new directors a platform and they have been coming up with some refreshing concepts. This week the spotlight is on Tanuj Bhramar, who will be making a debut in the industry with his film Dear Dad

Background

I am from Ranchi and attended boarding school in Dehradun. I have been inclined towards the fine arts ever since I can remember. As a child, I was a painter and I didn’t like academics, so a 9-to-5 job was never on my list. After college, I came to Mumbai, where I exhibited my paintings at the Jehangir Art Gallery but since I had to choose a career that was more specific, I applied to Columbia University for higher studies.

Columbia Calling

I got into Columbia University for a course in film direction, and interned on shows like The Big Bang Theory and Family Guy. I also worked on some animation films. After my course, I could either return to India or stay back in the US. Hollywood has done everything, from emotions to space, but Bollywood has a lot of scope, where one can experiment with genres. That’s why I came back to India in 2012.

Hunt for Debut Film

When I came to Mumbai in 2012, I didn’t want to assist anyone. I started working on my own story, Dear Dad. The story, on a father-son relationship, comes from my very own personal journey. I was in a boarding school in Dehradun and, after every vacation, my father would drive down from Delhi to Dehradun, to drop me at school. Those journeys have stayed with me. In India, we have a stereotypical mindset, where we assume that fathers and sons never get along. But I share a beautiful bond with my father and that’s where the germ of the story came from. It took me two years to finalise the script and get a producer on board. I am grateful to Shaan Vyas of Sikhya Entertainment for giving me this chance.

Getting Arvind Swamy On Board

I give credit to my casting director Anmol Ahuja for this. When we were brainstorming about the cast, and Anmol suggested Arvind sir’s name. I was looking for an actor who exuded a warm personality because only then would the audience accept the actor in a father’s role, especially the kind of role that my story demands. So we went to Chennai to meet him, and after a few meetings, he agreed to be part of the film. He loved the story and connected to it, and was very eager to start work on the film.

Then we did our reading sessions and character sessions, like giving him the background of the character he would be playing, before we started shooting. Now everyone is talking about him and is reminded of films likeRoja and Bombay,where he played the hero. I am glad everyone is waiting to watch him on the big screen again.

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