Mitakshara Kumar: Don’t want to be a one-trick pony

15 May,2024 07:17 AM IST |  Mumbai  |  Priyanka Sharma

After directing period dramas in The Empire and Heeramandi, Mitakshara discusses moving away from the genre and helming a relationship comedy next

Mitakshara Kumar; Sonakshi Sinha and Manisha Koirala in Heeramandi: The Diamond Bazaar; The Empire focused on the rise of the Mughals

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Only two directorial ventures old, Mitakshara Kumar has displayed a knack for bringing to screen the worlds lost in time. She took us back to the Mughal era with The Empire (2021), and now, to the dazzling world of courtesans in pre-independence India with Heeramandi: The Diamond Bazaar. The episodic director says that her phone hasn't stopped ringing since Sanjay Leela Bhansali's creation - starring Manisha Koirala, Sonakshi Sinha, Aditi Rao Hydari, Richa Chadha, Sanjeeda Shaikh and Sharmin Segal - dropped online on May 1. "We all work for this validation and love," she begins. As much as she is relishing the adulation, Kumar is itching to go back on set. "I get bored when I am not on the set. Right now, the pre-production for my next is going on, and I keep telling my team, ‘Please do it fast so that the project can roll,'" she laughs.

So, is a third period drama in the offering? Far from it. The director is well-aware that she has become a dependable name in the genre, but she is equally aware that it could pigeon-hole her. "I am getting a lot of offers in the genre, and I am consciously not taking them up. I want to do something different because I don't want to be a one-trick pony and get typecast in period dramas."

That's why Kumar has chosen two contemporary stories for her next projects. The director reveals that she is developing a relationship dramedy with filmmaker Nikkhil Advani's banner, reuniting with the production house after The Empire. "Emmay [Entertainment] has given me my identity as a director. This film has been in development since even before Heeramandi. It's a female-centric film, a comedy about relationships between women. It's set in Chandni Chowk. I am from Delhi; so, this story is close to my heart." While Kumar has penned the story, Rohan Shankar of Luka Chuppi (2019) and Mimi (2021) fame has written the screenplay and dialogues. If things go as planned, the yet-untitled project will go on floors by the year-end.

The director is also working on an issue-based woman-led drama. "I can't talk about it at the moment, but I want to do everything. I am even searching for an action film to helm," she smiles.

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