Imprint in Clay. This was in 1993 when I knew nothing about filmmaking. Cut to 2008, I directed my first feature film Firaaq. Then in 2018 it was Manto and in 2023 it’s Zwigato. The gap has been closing in!
Every experience impacts your choices. As a director, my stories emerge from my work in various spheres of my life. Whether it’s the people I meet, the points of view I get to hear and read, my observations in my social advocacy and acting work…all of these impact the characters I create, the times I want to reflect and the stories I want to tell. All this gives rise to a churning within, and that’s what compels me to make a film.
It is the story of the relentlessness of life for Manas and Pratima, but not without their shared moments of joy. The film captures the lives of invisible ‘ordinary’ people that are hidden in plain sight.
A 10-year-old finds solace in his Rubik’s cubes. He often hides his obsession from his mother lest she gets annoyed. But the child continues to play - under the table or the bedsheet, while brushing or eating…hidden from his mother’s gaze. He finally solves the cube in under 10 seconds. This short film shows a child’s passion and the journey of pursuing it.
Listen to Her
Listen to Her focuses on two forms of abuse that women are grappling with during the lockdown – overburden of work and a surge in domestic violence. The film highlights the burden women face across class and caste.
Manto is based on the four most tumultuous years (1946-1950) in the life of Saadat Hasan Manto, the maverick writer. It is set during the independence of India from the British, leading to the partition of the country.
India’s Got Colour
A 2-minute music video that tackles the issue of colourism and celebrates India's diversity in skin colour. A catchy and youth-friendly video that aims to further the conversation around colourism.
Between the lines
The play explores the theme of gender inequality where Maya is happily married to a criminal lawyer and drafts contracts at a law firm, she gets the opportunity to defend a woman in court who is accused of murdering her husband. She fights the case against her husband blurring their personal and professional relationship.
Firaaq traces the emotional journeys of ‘ordinary’ people over a 24-hour period, in the aftermath of a carnage. Some are victims, some perpetrators and some who choose to watch silently.
Beyond Boundaries- Cricket for Peace
‘Beyond Boundaries’ was an Indo-Pak street children initiative. It was a response to the growing communal tension in the region. Cricket, a much revered subcontinental game, was the bridge that brought street children together to play cricket across both borders.
Public Service Ad
These 60-second public spots Jalebi & A Car Park and Roll Call aim to encourage school education. Jalebi & A Car Park expresses a child’s desire to learn in spite of losing interest in formal education. It implores educators to foster this yearning and bring innovations in teaching.
Public Service Ad
This public service ad aims to create a curiosity around rainwater harvesting and the role each one of us can play in preserving water. It is a poetic and conceptual approach to communicate an environmental solution.
Imprint in clay
Sardar Gurcharan Singh was the father of studio pottery in India. "Daddyji" as most called him lovingly was very close to my father. I often tagged along to visit his home studio where pottery wheels were lined up under the big neem trees in his old brick house.