This is his first mainstream commercial film and in Gujarati no less. Director Cchintan Shaah says that working on this film has been special and he wants to continue to make some out-of-the-box cinema for the audience. In this chat with Latha Srinivasan, he opens up about the film and more.
NewsX: How was it working on ‘The Reunions’?
Cchintan Shaah: It was indeed once in a lifetime experience. Especially because it’s my first feature film as a director, everything has been special for me. Writing this film was fun mainly because it was organic, and also because there was not any mainstream stereotypical interference from my producers. This emotion called ‘Friendship’ is so overwhelming for everyone and anyone, that when you get to do anything revolving around it, it’s always nostalgic and close to your heart. I would say that my film ‘The Reunions’ is a salute to all those friends and friendships that have survived amidst a vicious journey called ‘Life’.
NewsX: What was the inspiration behind the script?
Cchintan Shaah: Script-writing is my bread and butter. And when it comes to one’s bread and butter, it’s not always a privilege and comfortable to do things only when one is inspired. What inspired me for The Reunions was merely a good conversation I had with my friends, which ultimately led us to one particular ‘What If’ moment. And the very same ‘What If’ twist led me to write this story.
NewsX: How and when did Natasha and Khushi (Inception Media) come in as producers?
Cchintan Shaah: I gave up pitching this script as I knew it wasn’t a run-of-the-mill Gujarati film. But when I met Natasha and Khushi, I ended up discussing the premise of the subject. Unlike the typical producers of Gujarati films, loved the script simply because it’s not typical. And we started working on this film. In Natasha and Khushi’s case, I would say, it’s their guts to stand by their vision is what makes them special. As much as I am sure about the worthiness of whatever next film I will make, I am equally confident and curious about what next Natasha and Khushi choose to produce.
NewsX: You are also playing an important role in the film.
Cchintan Shaah: Ah! It was fun. And it was tough as well. While directing and acting, you can sight of each task that you’re helming. So throughout the film, I had to remind myself not to make that mistake. I had to be neutral enough to judge my performance as a director, and at the same time, I had to be judgemental enough to figure out where everything is heading cumulatively. So more or less it was like walking on a tightrope. But I have enjoyed it and given an opportunity, I will repeat this even in the future. It’s always good to be a bad version of Woody Allen!
NewsX: Who is your favourite director?
Cchintan Shaah: I end up liking everything probably because I am fascinated by the entire craft. Having said that, I am simply in awe of Shoojit Sircar, Aanand L Rai, Rajkumar Hirani, Anurag Kashyap, Imtiaz Ali, Hrishikesh Mukherjee, Gulzar Saab, Woody Allen, Guy Richie and many more.
NewsX: What do you have next in store for the audience?
Cchintan Shaah: I have some really out-of-the-box subjects for which I am looking for producers. That’s the brutal reality. And I ain’t ashamed of it. That’s how it works when you don’t want to give in for something that is too much of a safe bet. Apart from that, I am also supposed to direct my first Hindi feature film which is going through its final phases of getting locked.