Filmmaker and screenwriter Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari is trying to keep up her creative energies during the lockdown by scripting her next film, cooking and writing poetry. The director of hit films like Nil Battey Sannata, Bareilly Ki Barfi and Panga, went live from The Indian Express Facebook page recently. She talked about screenwriting, life post Covid-19 and her novel, among more.
Here are excerpts from the interaction:
How are you keeping your creative energies going during the lockdown?
We were so used to working continuously and having a kind of a rhythm that suddenly when now you are asked to stay at home, it’s a little different because the grass is always greener on the other side. This lockdown has really taught me about living life simply. This pandemic has taught us to love the people really close to you and pray for everyone around because life is too short.
I have been writing my book, which I want to finish. Whether it is cleaning the cupboards or streamlining all your paperwork, there’s so much backlog.
What is the best time to generate ideas or subject for movies?
There is no best time for creative people. We don’t have any holidays. I get ideas early in the morning, in the night or while cooking. Creative people are slightly mad because you may be talking to me and I will be thinking of something else (laughs). So ideas can come anytime, anywhere. But the way they come, they disappear also. So it is important that you write your ideas on a piece of paper.
You have started writing your novel too. Tell us more.
There are ideas which may work for movies or theatre. And then you have some ideas which will work only for books. So I started writing this story in form of a novel. It’s been three years now but this lockdown, I made sure that I very diligently write every day and hopefully I’ll finish by June and start pitching to publishers.
Is writing poems more satisfying than writing stories?
For me, writing poems just happened. So I tried putting my thoughts out there on my Instagram page. And when I start feeling things, that’s when I start writing things. I think all of us have a poet in us. It’s just about expressing yourself in some form.
How’s the film on NR Narayana Murthy and Sudha Murthy shaping up?
Just before the lockdown ended, I met Mr and Mrs Murthy. I think I learned a lot while I spent those five days with them. The writing is going on. It’s a very important project. I won’t call it a biopic. I think biopic is a little abused word. I feel it is a life story, a story which is so inspiring.
How challenging or liberating is it to write as a group?
It is important to work in a team, but it’s also very difficult to work in a team. Everyone has their own point of views. The most important part of working in a team is that you get different ideas. Someone must be very good in generating a single-line idea, someone else must be very good with dialogues, someone is very good playing a devil’s advocate. It’s about writing great scripts, and it is about not having any ego and taking the best out of everyone so that everyone grows along with you.
Do you think stories post Covid-19 will be more empathetic and focus on human relationships?
The way we look at stories will change because our mindset is definitely going to change. We are going to see a new normal and the new normal will have more empathy, more love. There is going to be a whole lot of changes. It is not going to be me against you. It is going to be us.
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