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Govind Nihalani to make Marathi film Ti Ani Itar

The director revealed the title of his next venture, Ti Ani Itar (She And Others), based on a story by Shanta Gokhale. It would mark Nihalani's return to direction after 12 years.

(Photo: Shutterbugs Images)

Shriram Iyengar

The Lonavala International Film Festival of India (LIFFI) honoured director Govind Nihalani with a Lifetime Achievement award on its inaugural day. Quick-witted as ever, Nihalani said, 'Shyam Babu, ek picture aur baaki hai' to mentor-cum-friend Shyam Benegal who shared the stage and presented the award. The context of the remark was soon revealed by Nihalani later. It seems the director is set to release his first directorial venture in Marathi, titled Ti Ani Itar (She And Others) this year. 

Speaking to writer Atul Tiwari at a Q&A session later, Nihalani said, "My relationship with Marathi cinema goes back a long way. I started my career with a Marathi film, Shantata! Court Chalu Aahe (1971) directed by Satyadev Dubey, based on a play by Vijay Tendulkar. I was the cinematographer on the film, and Dubey was the director."

Speaking of his relationship with Dubey, Nihalani said, "It was among my earliest works, and I would often fight with Dubey on the sets. For my first shot, Dubey never told me where to place the camera. I asked him, 'How do you want the scene to take place?' and he replied, 'Place your camera anywhere, and I will work my scene around it.' I was very annoyed. After a while, I simply placed the camera on a trolley. He actually filmed the scene around it. I had to work from there."

The last film by the director was the riot-based Dev (2004), starring Amitabh Bachchan and Kareena Kapoor Khan.

The Ardh Satya (1983) director was reticent when speaking about his next directorial venture. Upon prodding, he revealed: "My next film is a Marathi film as well. It is titled Ti Ani Itar (She And Others). It will soon be announced. I always wanted to make a Marathi film. This opportunity came my way after a long time. It is based on a story by Shanta Gokhale." 

Nihalani added, "I enjoyed making the film, and it is now in the final stages of completion. I am not allowed to speak more than that, because my producers want to make an announcement properly."

With Marathi cinema making waves of late, it is perhaps fitting that one of the leading figures of India's 'parallel wave' turns to the language. It might make for an explosive combination.