Tuesday, July 16, 2024

A fearless storyteller creating her own niche

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Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari is one of the renowned filmmakers of the industry, who is known for her vastly different, yet real-life concepts. In an exclusive conversation with the Faadu director, we learned about how she captures the class divides through the story, her auteuring style, and much more.

Shikha Duggal

The popular filmmaker Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari is known for her clutter-breaking content — stories that are from vastly different environments. That’s how the filmmaker rolls! Her recent series that hooked all of us titled Faadu, described the two opposing perspectives. And, when in an exclusive conversation with the in-movie maker, we learned how she astutely captured the class divides through the story, her auteuring style, and much more.

“With a new pair of Saiyami Kher and Pavail Gulati: my audiences were in for a surprise. The task was to hunt for the right poetess. A woman who is creative, curious yet contemporary in the way she looks. So, Saiyami is a loved face and a young woman rousing others to succeed and that’s when I saw my poetess in her.”

She called herself a fearless storyteller, why is that so? She clarifies, “I am the only child of my parents, born at the end of Mumbai city. My mom has been a school principal forever and my father is a PhD scholar in plant pathology. He grew potatoes in the desert of Saudi Arabia! All this while, I have grown up amongst microscopes. Moving ahead, I learned Bharatnatyam and classical music. It was my mother who wanted to see me pursue a career in creative arts! Belonging to a middle-class family, I funded my own college expenses. Frankly, I was supposed to be a CA but here I am, my experiences turned me into a bold filmmaker on my own.”

For her making movies is for the archives. She continues, “As a storyteller, the relationship we form with our audience lasts for a lifetime. For example, Faadu was a story I wanted to tell, and the audience’s love and rave reviews have been enriching and gratifying. My actors, writer, editor, cinematographer, music director are being celebrated. With immense gratitude, I look forward to tell more stories with the passion and commitment now.”

She recalled a funny statement given by her mother that said, “‘You want to be an actress, be one but an actress who is able to earn money’(Ashwiny laughs her heart out). She goes on to mention, “I just didn’t become a filmmaker, I even wrote a book which I always had it in my mind. Being a director called for a lot of adrenaline rush inside me while penning my first book made me feel calm on the inside. That’s the difference, you see. Only me and the book knew what was happening between us. At the beginning of my career, my first two preferences were either to join a publishing house or to be a part of an advertising agency. My journey actually began by doing massive print campaigns for some renowned brands. My hands were also a part of writing scripts for the radio medium. Been there, done that are my feelings today.”

On an emotional note, she says, “Most of my life decisions have been impulsive. My husband can vouch for it. Started working when I was 18 and got married at 25. Travelled on my own whenever I felt like it! Learned new forms of art all the time. Currently obsessing over contemporary art appreciation. Had children when I was 31. Left my high-paying job at 34 and restarted from scratch to follow my passion for storytelling without knowing anyone in the industry. Became an entrepreneur and founded by the company at 40 to give hope for many like me who dream.”

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