This is a good time to get into screenwriting – Gaurav Patki
An ambitious head of a ‘Coaching-Class’, who’s chasing a dream, is having illicit affairs with the wife of a local municipal corporator, and with one of his female-students, simultaneously – That is the premise of Writer/Director Gaurav Patki’s film Anadhikrut. Chosen as one of the 10 shortlisted projects of Mumbai Mantra – CineRise Screenwriting Programme 2015, Gaurav’s script was selected from over 550 entries and was then mentored by industry stalwarts at a 5-day residential Lab. The Lab will finally culminate in a Pitch Session later in the year, where the screenwriting fellows will get a chance to pitch their scripts to studio heads, independent producers, directors and other interested parties.
Pandolin talks to Gaurav about being selected for the Screenwriting Programme and his journey so far as a writer and director.
Your film has been selected for the Mumbai Mantra – CineRise Screenwriting Programme 2015. Did you anticipate it and how big a deal is this for you personally?
It was a big deal for me. I was studying in FTII and completed my screenplay writing course in December last year. I had submitted the story in October. After I finished the course, the script got selected. It’s my second script. The first one was a screenplay I did as a student.
How did the germination of the idea for Anadhikrut come about?
Anadhuikrut means illegal or illegitimate. I am born and brought up in Pune and have seen the changes in the city; how it has grown into a global city but there are a lot of issues with regards to illegal constructions and politicians are backing this up.
There are also a ton of IIT preparatory classes. There are so many students trying to crack IIT and I have many friends who have tried to crack it 4-5 times. So I know how IIT preparatory classes have grown in Pune and these situations have stayed in my mind.
This script is about a teacher who is taking IIT preparatory classes in an illegal construction space and getting support from a local politician. He is also having an affair with a fellow teacher who happens to be the politician’s wife. As the story progresses, a female student falls for him and while he tries to keep himself away from her, he eventually ends up have an affair with her. The comment I wanted to make was about an aspiring middle class who have big dreams but a class that is not concerned with morality so much.
Where does this project stand at the moment?
It is still in the script process. We are supposed to do the second draft and then have a pitching session with the producers. We got selected for the Screenwriting Program and this is the process we are going through at the moment. Mahindra has planned a sitting session in November.
Are you currently writing anything else?
I am working on a documentary and a short film. The documentary is about Pune and about the livability aspect.
Who are some of your all time favorite writers and directors?
It’s a long list but I really like Krzysztof Kieslowski, a Polish director, David Fincher from Hollywood and I love all the Tarantino movies. One of my favorite movies is In the Mood For Love. As a write, I also love Haruki Murakami.
If you had to give aspiring filmmakers one tip, what would it be?
As a new writer it is very natural that we tend to follow idols we have but at the same time we have to be true to ourselves and find our own voice.
What is your opinion about the scripts in general in India; you read articles on how India is the largest producer but lacks good scripts?
I would like to mention my all time mentor Anjum Rajabali who has been teaching me for the last two years. We were taught the history of storytelling through mythology including Mahabharata and Ramayana. Right now there are a lot of writers and directors and they all have their views and voices. I am fortunate to be a Maharashtrian, so I know the regional stories and know that there are movies based on them. This is a good time to get into this field.