So, Day 1 of Ticket 2 Bollywood now over. Madhur Bhandarkar was unable to be there, but sent a video apology.
Some 100 or so people – actors, writers, and those hoping to be – turned out for the event at the Chatwal family’s Dream Downtown hotel.
Screenwriter Anuraadha Tewari (Fashion, Heroine) gave an overview of the history of film in India, likening the cinema hall’s place in Indian lives to what the tribal fire once was. She mentioned during this session that Dadasaheb Phalke was credited with introducing the idea of time-lapse photography (news to me!).
Nandana Sen participated in an afternoon session, entering hurriedly after commuting down from a writing course up at Columbia University.
In Imtiaz Ali’s morning session, about getting into Hindi cinema even though he had no godfathers in the industry and came from Jamshedpur (which he referred to as a small town), I was struck by how so much of his early struggle seemed to tie in with an obsession to get married, something which always surprises me in India, as most menfolk over on my side of the globe can only be induced into it (marriage, not the Hindi film biz), when prompted with the pointy end of a pitchfork. But he was very jocular and self-effacing, bringing to mind a younger and hipper Columbo.
And in the afternoon, Zoya Akhtar talked about being in the Hindi film industry, as someone who’s grown up in that milieu, thanks to her famous parents and brother. She enthused about working with ensemble casts (“They’re delish!”) and her collaborative process writing with Reema Kagti (“We talk for weeks about the film and the characters then start putting it down.”)
More tomorrow after Day 2…