Having started her career writing romantic songs, many would have assumed Anvita Dutt will pick the romance genre for her directorial debut. However, she chose supernatural thriller Bulbbul, which is set to stream on Netflix from June 24.
In an exclusive chat with indianexpress.com, the writer-director shared that she has grown up hearing these kinds of stories, and that’s where her interest lies. Dutt said, “All the love-filled songs and rom-com dialogues, screenplay was for other directors, and for the stories they wanted to say. When I sat down to write for myself, it was my love for fables and supernatural stories that came in. I have been fascinated by the same since childhood, and continue to read it till now. I wrote Bulbbul for the sheer joy of telling the story, but I loved it so much that I wanted to direct it. So I rolled back my sleeves and got going. Fortunately for me, Karnesh and Anushka also loved it and decided to produce. Then Netflix came along. I feel blessed, excited and very happy that people will finally get to see my film.”
Anvita Dutt was joined by Rahul Bose and Tripti Dimri on a video call for the promotion of Bulbbul. The film has been produced by Anushka Sharma-Karnesh Sharma’s Clean Slate Films.
When asked how it was to turn director, Dutt smiled to share, “It was so much fun. Writing has always been a beautiful experience, but I felt like a storyteller in the true sense while directing it. Also, I feel, everything I did, everyone I met had been training me for this job. Writing poetry, working with words, interacting with so many people has taught me a lot. And all that experience came handy when I was on the floor.”
Apart from the picturesque frames, the cast of the film that also includes Avinash Tiwary, Paoli Dam and Parambrata Chattopadhyay has been lauded by all. Stating that she was lucky to find these amazing actors, the director said, “Casting Bay handled the work and we found Tripti and Avinash through auditions. And they were so spectacular that I could immediately see my Bulbbul and Satya in them. Paoli was Karnesh’s suggestion and we locked her just two days before the show. Param, on the other hand, was already a friend. And someone who knows him will know that he is Dr Sudip.”
“The creative director of this film Anshai Lal, who also helmed Phillauri, suggested Rahul Bose’s name. I did not think he would agree but sent him the script. And in just two hours, he called me. It was so incredible of him to speak about the film and every character, rather than his part. He got Bulbbul the way I get it, and instead of questioning a first time director, he asked me if I think he can pull off this complex character. It was so graceful of him, and to play such a cruel character, one has to have that sensitivity. I think I just lucked out with all of them. It was so amazing to work with each one of these actors,” she added.
Lastly, talking about creating the pre-independence era for the film, Anvita Dutt said, ”It was very exciting for me. The neoclassical period is anyway a very fascinating world. From the director of photography, art, costumes, everyone was on the same page. I just told them that I want every scene to look like a Raja Ravi Varma painting. We went with that vision and everything was very authentic. A lot of research went into it as the setting plays an important part while telling a fairytale. I am just relieved that we managed to pull it off.”
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