Alka Nautiyal, a filmmaker in her 20s, about to graduate, after being labeled as a ‘cotton candy’ filmmaker decides to change her image in order to be taken seriously. Along with her cinephile producer Vinayak, she tries to make a serious political courtroom drama, based on a caste issue. She researches the subject during which she meets Sethji garage owner & Nandu, who works in the same garage and carries out political killings for Sethji, turns out she’s too out of touch with the subject she’s trying to make a film on. Being from a privileged background, she only indulged in making frothy romantic films. She decides to cast an ex-IPTA member, a Shyam Benegal favorite, he’s got more Filmfare Awards in his study than books who’s recently been getting a lot of fire from the right-wing over a comment he made on the Hindu mythology. The Actor calls her script out as being a ‘savior complex’ set piece. He readily agrees to do the role. On the day of the shoot, while the Actor performs the scene, an assassination attempt is made by Sethji and Nandu on the Actor, in a manner almost identical to the situation in Alka’s script. What happens to Alka & her film sums up Ek Film Director Ki Maut or 5 Easy Steps To Make An Important Short Film.
The idea for this film germinated in me when the film set of the 2018 Sanjay Leela Bhansali film, Padmaavat was attacked by far-right groups, ever since then, I kept grappling with the idea of what the filmmaker’s psyche must’ve been like. That idea stayed with me for the longest time and after three years of film school when we were finally supposed to make our thesis film, the political climate in my country had worsened. The film industry was being targeted right & center by the fringe groups. The idea that a film set is so vulnerable to any form of attack and artists are what every quasi dictatorial regime fears. Also, the lockdown had broadened my perspective on the idea of making a film about films so early on in my journey, somehow the earlier idea came to fruition when I decided to satirize the filmmakers of my generation and the culture of film schools. There was a morbid craziness in the idea that I wanted to explore, that’s how the film came into being. The film tries to explore the political climate of my country through a tragicomedy. The film Falls in the “Film About/Within a Film” Sub Genre, therefore the world which in this case, is Film Schools, Student Films, filled with a lot of intertextual film references and cinema lingo, is seen through the journey of the making of our protagonist’s film. In contrast to the world of student films, the film also explores the world of right-wing extremism and the political outrage towards artists. Therefore those angles are seen from Alka’s point of view who is absolutely alien to the world around her, hence we are able to balance out the contrast easily. Even though real in its feel, the world of the story is set in a tragicomedy realm, wherein in the end the character doesn’t get what she wants, this is explored through a lot of dark humor.