IITians fund, produce, direct a feature film

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By Hindustan Times

Ashish Lal (26), Ashutosh Matela (27) and Manav Vigg (32) completed studying at Indian Institute of Technology(IIT), New Delhi, a few years ago. And on December 16, the three engineers will officially turn Bollywood producers.

Ashish has worked as a corporate filmmaker for a few years, during which he made movies for the United Nation, the Bihar government and the Uttarakhand government.

He explains the shift, saying, “Our aim was to get into Bollywood, so when Manav suggested we make a short film on all the monuments in Delhi, I ended up writing a full-length thriller.”

Hoping that the inclusion of the historically significant structures would get them financial support from the government, the trio began chasing ministries.

“But nothing materialised, we didn’t have a penny. Two weeks before we were to start shooting, we borrowed Rs 50 lakh from friends and family,” adds Ashish, who’s also the film’s writer. He, along with his partners in the company, Red Mat Reves Films, took personal loans to support the budget. “We’re still asking people for money for promotions. We even asked our friends to take loans for us, but we will return everything with interest.”

Nikhil Singh has directed the film that stars established actors Tom Alter and Seema Biswas.

Recalling how the entire cast and crew came together, Ashish says, “We didn’t know anyone. I somehow got Mr Alter’s email id, and I emailed him the synopsis. Within five hours, he replied. Then, we met Seema through our line producers.”

The film revolves around a kidnapping. The victim is the female protagonist’s father. The kidnapper gives her hints related to each monument and a limited amount of time to decipher them. “I play the girl’s friend, a history student, who helps her crack the clues,” Ashish says.