A tale of transition

New venture

A tale of transition

He has assisted on films like ‘Three Stories’ and ‘Dostana’ but this is his first solo venture. ‘Ishq Forever’, a ‘rom-a-venture’, marks Sameer Sippy’s directorial debut. It tells the tale of change and transition of a set of people. Talking to Ananya Revanna about the film, Sameer elaborates on why he chose this as his debut project.

Why did you pick this script as your debut?

Honestly, the film just landed in my lap, it’s not like I was looking for it. One day, I got a call from Shabbir ‘bhai’ (Boxwala), who is the producer and writer of the film, saying that he wanted to discuss something with me. He gave me a brief narration of the story and asked me what I thought of it. I found it interesting and I think, it was a sign that I try directing something of my own.

What took you so long to take up a solo project?

There’s no age bracket to do things. I don’t think it’s mandatory for you to produce, direct and have babies by the time you are 20! There’s a right time for everything and I didn’t want to push myself and my family until I thought I was ready. In my 20s I might have said ‘Yes, I’m ready to direct’ but that’s not how it works. Direction is an opportunity many people wait for and it’s wrong to presume I’m ready when I’m not. I have assisted on various films but directing is a different ball game. You have to be ready to take on the responsibility — everyone’s eyes are on you and they are waiting for you to make the decisions. It’s natural that you get conscious.

What’s a ‘rom-a-venture’?

There are romantic films and romantic comedies, but a ‘rom-a-venture’ is a romantic adventure film. It’s not just about two people walking off and falling in love... There are many layers to the film. It’s about how a young and impulsive girl runs away from the security of her home because her father becomes the Prime Minister of the country and she feels a bit suffocated. It’s not that she doesn’t want to come back home but there’s always something stopping her. This leads to the journey and change of a boy and girl. There are also two RAW agents who are following her for her safety and two terrorists who want to kidnap her. It’s an amalgamation of stories. I could have done the usual romantic story, with a rich boy and poor girl or rich girl and poor boy, where the parents are opposed to the union, but that wouldn’t stand out.

Two of your lead actors — Krishna Chaturvedi and Ruhi Singh — are newcomers. Why did you decide to work with new acts?

Personally, I think, for a romantic film, it’s best to either use newcomers or actors who are well-versed with the genre. And I preferred newcomers as I am a first-timer as well and it’s easier to work with and get the best out of them.

How did you pick Krishna and Ruhi?

I didn’t find Krishna, Shabbir ‘bhai’ did. It’s bizarre, actually. Shabbir was going through people on Facebook and he thought Krishna suited the role. So, he messaged him, asking him if he wanted to be an actor and if he’d like to come for auditions. We auditioned him a few times and found that he suited the role.

And when it came to Ruhi’s character, there were many other women who auditioned but there was always something missing in them. When you have a script, an idea of how the characters should be is already in your head and you can’t let go of that. With all the other women, there wasn’t that connect but when we saw Ruhi, we knew she was the one.

The storyline for ‘Ishq Forever’ bears some resemblance to Andy Cadiff’s ‘Chasing Liberty’. Is the script a remake of the film?

It’s not a remake or a take-off from any film. The concept might be similar but it was written by Shabbir ‘bhai’ and has many other aspects to it.

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