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Wrote first draft of Tumbbad in 1997: Writer-director Rahil Anil Barve in making video

While actor-producer Soham Shah believes the story is like those of the grandmother's tales, co-director Adesh Prasad thinks Tumbbad is much darker.

Mayur Lookhar

Actor-producer Soham Shah's fantasy-adventure drama Tumbbad is one of the most keenly awaited films of the year. Tumbbad hits the screens on 12 October. The makers have released a making video where Shah and his team share some interesting stories.

The first thing that catches one's attention is the fact that this story was conceived in the 1990s. Director Rahi Anil Barve was on a visit to Nagzira jungle where a scary looking man narrated a horror tale. Though scared, the event marked the beginnings of the Tumbbad journey for him.

“I wrote the first draft of the film in 1997, I was 18 then. In 2009-2010, it took me eight months to create this 700-800 pages of the storyboard. This was the anchor on which everything was based,” Barve says in the video.

Barve began shooting the film in 2012 and it took six years for the film to be ready. During this time, the story evolved, too.

For actor-producer Soham Shah, this was a story that really fascinated him. Says Shah, "This [film] seems likes grandmother’s stories, much like Vikram-Betal and Panchatantra stories..."

Writer-co-director Adesh Prasad agrees with Shah but feels Tumbbad is more darker than those stories. He didn’t hesitate in saying that the makers have created their own mythology.  

Prasad narrated a fascinating incident from the sets. “There was this myth and spot boys left some food outside the mansion. Their reason was, that if we don’t do it, then something wrong will happen,” he said. He, however, didn't pay much heed to this superstition but one day his perception changed.

“One fine evening, the lights just went off. The next morning all the jokes [about the myth] ended. We said 'yeah, yeah please keep the food outside',” Prasad added.

It’s been a long journey for Tumbbad, so wrapping-up the film was a sad moment for Shah and his team.

“We wrapped up on 15 May 2015 at about 4am. Once the directors said pack-up, I had tears in my eyes. I felt oh, the film is completed. It felt like the war has just stopped, and we don’t need to shoot anymore,” recalled Shah.

For Prasad, though, another journey had begun. “I would say that the writing didn't end before the shoot, it ended for me when the editing was done,” saying this, he was all praise for the editor Sanyukta Kaza.

"Sanyukta added to the newish language, to the cutting. That was a very long process of cutting things down to their essence. Sanyukta played a major role, by questioning, every decision that was made on location and on, paper. I don’t even remember how many drafts we made,” added Prasad.

Tumbbad was first screened at the Venice International Film Festival and Shah is overjoyed with the way the film has truned out. “When I first saw the film in a cinema theatre, I felt overwhelmed. The six years of pain, frustration, struggle, it was all worth it," he said.

Watch the making video of Tumbbad below: