Ronnie Screwvala's launchpad could do in films what UTV did in television
RSVP's line-up of debutant directors looks promising
Entrepreneur and media founder Ronnie Screwvala in his first avatar at UTV backed many first-time directors and pushed the established ones out of their comfort zone to build India’s largest movie studio.
RSVP, Screwvala’s independent production company, in its new avatar at the movies, is following in the same footsteps if the line-up of debutant directors signed up with them is anything to go by. Diverse and creative talent with strong scripts is the formula for today’s movie-going audiences and RSVP seems ready to disrupt this space again.
“We want RSVP to stand for three kinds of storytelling. Stories that must be told, stories that we would love to tell and stories that everyone goes to the movies for. Along with some other exceptional talent, we are very proud to associate with some promising debutant directors and writers who see the narrative as we do,” said Screwvala.
Here are a few writer-directors who are being launched by RSVP.
With vast experience in the world of films, advertising and theatre, Anand made his directorial debut with RSVP’s Love Per Square Foot, starring Vicky Kaushal and Angira Dhar.
Aditya has been an assistant to Vidhu Vinod Chopra, Rohan Sippy, Priyadarshan and Vishal Bhardwaj. He has written 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.
After moving to Mumbai from Nanital four years ago, Amit wrote the highly acclaimed Trapped, which was recently nominated for best original story and best screenplay. Amit now makes his directorial debut at RSVP with a comic-adventure caper about two buddies on a crazy ride.
Akarsh has been part of theatres for over 15 years. He has also written screenplays for Anurag Basu and Rakesh Roshan. His directorial debut with RSVP’s Karwaan starring Irrfan Khan, Dulquer Salmaan, and Mithila Palkar releases in theatres worldwide on June 1.
After working as an assistant director with Ayan Mukerji, Milan Luthria, Mohit Suri and others, Sneha, daughter of Tips Music founder Ramesh Taurani, will debut as a director with RSVP’s Dance Franchise — the first of which will be a film on bhangra written by award-winning Punjabi writer Dheeraj Rattan.
Vandana Kataria won big as the production designer for Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye!. She also participated in Berinale Talent Campus 2016 and is at present working on Zoya Akhtar’s Gully Boy. RSVP’s Tara ki Shaadi, a heart warming but brutally honest tale about Tara set around her wedding plans, will be her first feature film as writer and director.
Vasan is an award-winning ad filmmaker who assisted Anurag Kashyap for a decade. He was also an associate for Michael Winterbottom’s Trishna and co-wrote The Lunch Box. His first film Peddlers (2012) competed for the Camera d’Or at Cannes. He will now direct RSVP’s Mard ko Dard Nahin Hota.
RSVP also has some of the industry’s top directors — Zoya Akhtar, Dibakar Banerjee, Anurag Kashyap and Karan Johar — making four short films on love and lust. Besides, Abhishek Chaubey of Udta Punjab fame will direct Sonchiriya, Meghna Gulzar will helm a biopic on Field Marshall Sam Maneckshaw, Hansal Mehta will direct a biopic on lawyer Ram Jethmalani and veteran Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra will make a film on kabaddi for RSVP.
Shashank Ghosh (Khubsoorat and Veere di Wedding), Amit Masurkar (Newton), Konkona Sen Sharma (A Death in the Gunj), Anu Menon (Waiting) and Sankalp Reddy (Ghazi Attack) are also set to work for the new banner.