Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari: We have to be true to the audience

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By HT

Mumbai, Dec. 8 -- Director Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari's last film, Bareilly Ki Barfi (BKB), was met with accolades at the box office and gained a lot of praise for its story. 
 
In the wake of such a success, one would think the director would be under a lot of pressure to live up expectations, but Ashwiny doesn't agree. 
 
She says, "I never think of what is going to happen in the future. I always feel that we have to be true to the audience. If I start thinking about what is going to happen and the pressure and what the audience is going to start thinking, then I would stop looking at what I am doing currently." 
 
The director says the idea is to focus and not think of consequences "Otherwise, I will be scared of failure. But the truth is I've made movies that had a voice of their own, and each was different from the others. My endeavour is to make movies that I feel will be different from previous ones, but at the same time, be true to my audience. The idea is to go with the flow and enjoy what I'm doing," she says.
 
Ashwiny says she also strives to avoid succumbing to popular trends while making a film. "If I start doing things that are in, then there will be no difference in my voice as a storyteller. Also, the stories that worked five years ago may not work now. The audience is changing. And today, I'm competing with popular streaming channels and other forms of entertainment," she says.
 
Ashwiny's films Nil Battey Sannata and BKB both were set in small towns. As a woman born and brought up in an urban environment, was it challenging for Ashwiny to make stories that had quite a different background? 
 
The director says, "I think any film-maker or artiste cannot be closed up in their own environment. You have to travel, learn human psychology and behaviour and learn how people live, dress and stay. And my experience in advertising has really helped me, because I used to work on brands for the tier two and tier three markets, and these form a large section of the audience."