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Amit Masurkar mentors Avalokita Dutt for short film anthology Shuruaat Ka Twist

Filmmakers Vikramaditya Motwane, Rajkumar Hirani and Raj Kumar Gupta are the other mentors on the project which will be launched on 31 May.

Our Correspondent

Following Shuruaat Ka Interval (2014) and Shor Se Shuruaat (2016), the short film anthology Shuruaat Ka Twist introduces six filmmakers with their short films. Like the previous two editions by HumaraMovie, filmmakers mentor new talent on the anthology.

For the 2019 edition, filmmakers Vikramaditya Motwane, Rajkumar Hirani, Raj Kumar Gupta and Amit Masurkar are taking up the role of mentor on four of the six short films. Newton (2017) co-writer and director Masurkar is mentoring Avalokita Dutt for her short titled Gutthi.

Masurkar said in a statement, "I have known Avalokita for many years and have always found her work impressive. She has a very progressive point of view and a unique way of looking at life. When Preety [Ali] and Vinay [Mishra] asked me to suggest a filmmaker for this omnibus, Avalokita was the first person I thought of."

Avalokita's Gutthi tells the story of two friends, Avibu (Merenla Imsong) and Jaya (Veera Saxena), who are film students. Like most students of cinema, they aspire to make a film that will change the world.

"I wanted to tell the story of this friendship with the importance and intensity of a love story," the filmmaker said.

Avalokita Dutt has previously worked as an assistant director on Manjhi: The Mountain Man (2015), Jolly LLB 2 (2017) and Music Teacher (2019). She has even acted in a few films "to pay the rent".

"My Jamia [Millia Islamia university] final student film made it to the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) in 2012," the filmmaker told Cinestaan.com. "I have done a lot of backstage work in theatre, from my father's [Avijit Dutt's] plays to meeting my film's star Merenla Imsong when I did sound for her solo theatre piece four years ago.

"I have also done a lot of NGO [non-governmental organization, voluntary] work with many organizations like the Naz Foundation and [have] lived and worked in Kashmir for five months. In my head this was my training to write my film."

Masurkar added: "We discussed what she could make her film on and we came up with this idea about a friendship over years told in a short format. Now I see the film and I'm rather happy that she has pulled it off with such nuance and maturity."

Besides Dutt, Praveen Fernandes, Hanish Kalia, Heena D'Souza, Sanjiv Kishinchandani and Gaurav Mehta are directing shorts in the anthology which will be launched on 31 May at select PVR theatres.