Kushaal Chawla on making a biopic on Kiran Bedi

- June 23, 2024
| By : Santosh Mehta |

Chawla, whose ‘One Way’ is being screened at major film festivals and ‘Another Time’ was shown at the Warner Bros. studios in Los Angeles, talks about the idea of making a movie on India’s first woman IPS officer and the cinematic beauty of Delhi.

Biopic: Young filmmaker Kushaal Chawla is an award-winning film director from Delhi. He has written and directed a variety of films, including One Way, which is being screened at major international film festivals, and Another Time, which was screened at the Warner Bros. studios in Los Angeles.

Now, Chawla’s production company — Dream State Pictures — has officially announced the release of an upcoming biopic on Dr Kiran Bedi, titled The Name You Know, The Story You Don’t.

This biopic is meant to inspire women and youngsters alike to pursue their dreams.

Also read: OTT has redefined casting norms in industry: Mukesh Rishi

In this exclusive interview, Kushaal Chawla talks about his latest project.

Let’s begin by talking about the biopic?

It was a privilege and an honour to have had the opportunity to direct a biopic on one of India’s strongest and most compassionate IPS officers. The process for this film started more than four years ago, when I went to Dr Kiran Bedi to present my vision and idea for the film.

How did you get the idea for making a film on Dr Bedi?

The idea came from extensive research and interviews with various stakeholders. Then I realised that Dr Bedi’s inside story is still unknown to the world and that the current and upcoming generations should get to know it and be inspired by it.

How difficult is it to write and direct a story?

I’ve always loved both writing and directing my projects, as I feel I can effectively execute the vision that I pen down and, in addition, be totally engaged with the process from curation till the final release.

What kind of problems did you face while working on the biopic?

I don’t think I can think of any problems as such. In fact, I’m spoilt for choice as Dr Bedi has had a long and illustrious career. I wanted to effectively translate it on celluloid so that the audience could witness the spectacular life and career of India’s first woman IPS officer, who has been a source of inspiration for many.

Who is playing Dr Bedi’s role?

That is still being discussed. We have not shortlisted anyone yet.

Also read: Harsh Mayar on growing with ‘Gullak’: Portraying Aman Mishra and embracing the slice-of-life genre

Would you like to share tidbits from the making of Another Time?

Another Time was an American film that I had written and directed. By genre, it’s a science fiction film, a time travel story, but at its heart, it is a pure father-son story that is driven by strong emotions. I loved the experience of shooting the film in Los Angeles as I had the opportunity to work with some very talented actors and crew members, who really helped me execute my vision successfully.

You have directed many advertisements. Is there any difference between directing ad films and mainstream movies?

Advertisement films are in short form and content. They seek to grab the attention of an audience immediately. There’s very little time to complete a story and spark a strong emotion in the viewer. They require telling the complete story in a shorter time period while at the same time directly/indirectly promoting a product that would lead to higher sales or increased awareness for the brand. However, in narrative films, we get increased screen time to work on character-led stories, in which longer story arcs can be completed and audiences are engrossed with multiple narratives and cinematic elements over a period of 2-2.5 hours.

Do you come from a family of filmmakers?

Yes, my father has been in the media and entertainment industry for the last 35 years and has produced a lot of narrative and advertising content. We now work together as we run the production company “Dream Slate Pictures” as we create both narrative and advertising content.

What do you find interesting about Delhi?

Delhi is where my heart lies. I’ve grown up in Delhi and spent all my formative years in the city. I think Delhi has a very distinct character, and there is some cinematic beauty in it, which I would love to capture on camera.