MUMBAI—Entrepreneur and media founder Ronnie Screwvala, when working at UTV Motion Pictures, had backed many first-time directors. As the founder of RSVP, his new production company, he is following in the same footsteps if the line-up of debutant directors signed up with them is anything to go by. He feels that diverse and creative talent with strong scripts is the formula for movie-going audiences today.
“We want RSVP to stand for three kinds of storytelling: stories that must be told, stories that we would love to tell and stories for which everyone will go to the movies. Along with some other exceptional talent, we are very proud to associate with some promising debutante directors and writers who see the narrative as we do” said Screwvala.
Here are seven new directors that Screwvala is backing.
With vast experience in the world of films, advertising and theater, Anand Towari makes his directorial debut with “Love Per Square Foot,” starring Vicky Kaushal and Angira Dhar. It premieres this Valentine`s Day across 190 countries on Netflix.
Akarsh Khurana has been a part of theater for over 15 years. He has also written screenplays for Anurag Basu and Rakesh Roshan. His directorial debut, RSVP’s “Karwaan” starring Irrfan Khan, Dulquer Salmaan and Mithila Palkar, releases in theaters worldwide Jun. 1.
After working as an assistant director with Ayan Mukerji, Milan Luthtria, Mohit Suri and others, Sneha, daughter of Tips Music founder Ramesh Taurani, will be debuting as a director with RSVP’s dance franchise, the first of which will be a bhangra-based film written by award-winning Punjabi writer Dheeraj Rattan.
Aditya Dhar has been an assistant to Vidhu Vinod Chopra, Rohan Sippy, Priyadarshan and Vishal Bhardwaj. He has written the story, screenplay, and dialogues for the National award-winning short film “Boond” and lyrics for “Kabul Express.” RSVP’s “URI,” about a landmark moment in India’s military history, starring Vicky Kaushal, will be his debut film.
Vandana Kataria won a Filmfare award as production designer on “Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye!,” was selected and participated in the Berlinale Talent Campus 2016, and is currently working on Zoya Akhtar’s “Gully Boy.” RSVP’s “Tara Ki Shaadi,” a heartwarming but brutally honest tale about Tara’s wedding plans will be her first feature film as writer and director.
After moving to Mumbai from Nainital four years ago, Amit Joshi wrote the film, “Trapped,” which recently got nominated for best original story and best screenplay at the Filmfare awards. Joshi now makes his directorial debut at RSVP with a comic-adventure caper about two buddies on a crazy ride.
Vasan is an award-winning ad filmmaker, who assisted Anurag Kashyap for a decade, was an associate on Michael Winterbottom’s “Trishna” and co-wrote “The Lunch Box.” His first film “Peddlers” (2012) competed for the Camera D’Or at Cannes. He now directs RSVP’s “Mard Ko Dard Nahin Hota.”
In addition to the debutants, RSVP also has some of the industry’s well-known directors – Zoya Akhtar, Dibakar Banerjee, Anurag Kashyap and Karan Johar – making four short stories on “Love and Lust.”
Abhishek Chaubey directs “Sonchiriya” while Meghna Gulzar will make a biopic on Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw. Hansal Mehta will direct a biopic on Ram Jethmalani and Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra will make a film on “kabaddi” for RSVP.