Mohit Takalkar is a well-known name in the theatre circuit. The director, film editor and sound designer’s bold and experimental plays have won accolades from the public and theatre critics alike.
But the multi-faceted persona of the man doesn’t end here. Thirty-five-year-old Takalkar took the conscious step of directing a movie last year. “It was an exhilarating experience. I realised I was too caught up with directing plays and was kind of comfortable in that little sphere. I needed to explore multiple genres that not only satisfied me creatively but also made me challenge certain things that I didn’t tap into when I was doing theatre.”
A Bright Day tells the story of a young man who travels across the country, visiting Pune, Benaras and Jaisalmer, to explore various aspects of life. The film was made in 2012 and was well-received at various film festivals in India as well as the Toronto International Film Festival, Calgary International Film Festival 2012, Vancouver and the South Asian Film Festival last year.
Takalkar admits, “I wrote the script more than a decade ago. But I was very naïve then. I wrote about the cities of Pune, Benaras and Jailsalmer without actually travelling to those locations. Much later, I travelled to these cities which helped me broaden my horizons.”
The entire movie is shot on a Digital SLR camera by cameraman Amol Gole (of Stanley Ka Dabba fame). Takalkar explains, “Technology plays a huge role in cinema. A film camera is obviously preferred but due to lack of funds, we settled on a DSLR.”
A Bright Day features theatre stalwarts such as Rajit Kapur and Shernaz Patel along with Sarang Sathaye who plays the lead role of ‘Shiv’. “It is weird but they all agreed in a minute. I didn’t really have to run behind them to ask for their dates,” he laughs.
Having directed both plays and films, he feels that both require different set of skills. He explains, “While directing a play, the staging becomes very important, whereas marketing plays a key role in a film’s success.”
Takalkar is elated that his movie is being showcased under NCPA’s Fresh Pix series, which is instrumental in promoting young talent in films. “I think it is wonderful that organisations are taking interest in my work. It motivates me to do even better,” he signs off.