Wings of Fire

Dipanshu Dang,a young filmmaker from the city puts women in focus in his debut feature film

Written by Jaskiran Kapoor | Published:July 3, 2013 2:12 am

When he gave the world a slice of the subconscious mind in his 2010 film Inception,filmmaker Christopher Nolan changed the course of 24-year-old Dipanshu Dang’s life forever. A mechanical engineer from Chitkara University (Rajpura),Dang — who was restoring vintage cars in Mumbai at Team Motor Works — realised his calling was in making films. “I was terribly drawn to this phenomenal art of storytelling,”

he says.

Dang started by documenting something he knew very well — cars. “I was restoring vintage cars such as Ford Mustang with Suraj Bhalla,and we made a documentary on it called Mustang Diaries,” he says. The second one to roll out from this workshop was Craftsman Project — Indian Hot Rods. By this time,Dang was familiar with the technicalities of filmmaking,and in November 2012,wrote his first film based on the issue of women trafficking and empowerment,titled Naari Chakra.

“I had worked on the script of a short film with Gabriel Ghoderao,titled Kalpana – Save the Girl Child,and the subject inspired me to pen a full-length story. Consequently,the Delhi gang rape in December 2012 compelled me to embark on the project even further,” says Dang,who screened Naari Chakra at the Chitkara campus on Monday. He is now taking it to independent screening spaces in Delhi,London,and at farmhouses and drive-in events in Chandigarh and other cities.

Self-financed,the 60 -minute film was made on a budget of Rs 10 lakh. It will premiere at the Indian Independent Film Festival in Bangalore,this August. “Although independent cinema doesn’t have many avenues in India,it’s coming up at a fast pace,and the Internet is empowering it,” says Dang,who has produced the film under his banner Aart Productions,along with a London-based production company.

Naari Chakra is the story of an abducted girl called Sandhya,how she is pushed into prostitution,and how her brother bails her out. Dang has given the film a spiritual course by taking the protagonist on a healing path,and her rehabilitation through yogic values. While the music has been given by DJ Sin,the film has a predominantly Chandigarh-based cast,and has also been shot in the city.

“The role of Sandhya has been played by Nivvy Randhawa,while antagonist Zarfan Raushi’s role is essayed by Rajesh Sharma. There is Emmanuel Singh,Aishwarya Kaul and Arzoo Dandyan too,” says Dang,who has also acted in the film.

“I’ve been raised by a single mother,and my maternal grandmother,Suprabha Grover,was the first lady officer in the Indian Air Force. These women and their lives inspire me,and I feel women need to be respected and treated equally in this society. After all,they give life,and shape it too,” says Dang,adding how one strong woman in every thousand is enough to start a movement. As for the spiritual healing,it comes from his own life,and his rehabilitation through yoga after a paralysing accident when he was 19.

With no formal training in filmmaking,Dang has closely followed the masters in the craft and learnt from them. “Anurag Kashyap,Rakesh Roshan,Christopher Nolan,Martin Scorcese and Vidhu Vinod Chopra — I study their works,” says the young filmmaker. Social issues interest him,especially those pertaining to the youth. “I want to make films on these subjects and bring about a change,” says Dang. Interestingly,the insignia of his production house is a double-headed eagle with a pen and paper in its claws. “These are the strongest tools a man needs to change the world,” he says.

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