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Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi Wanted to Tell Their Story in a Docu-Drama: Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari

Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari.

Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari.

Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari is exploring the OTT space with her documentary on Mahesh Bhupathi and Leander Paes, titled Breakpoint, co-directing with husband Nitesh Tiwari.

By her own confession, director Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari loves telling stories, and her passion for it has translated into many hit films like Nil Battey Sannata, Bareilly Ki Barfi and Panga. And now for the first time, she is exploring the OTT space with her documentary on Mahesh Bhupathi and Leander Paes, titled Breakpoint. This is also the first time she will be co-directing something with her husband and filmmaker Nitesh Tiwari.

Talking about the project she says, “It has been in the making for quite some time. We have almost finished it. It was Lee (Leander Paes) and Mahesh (Bhupathi) who approached us and told us that they wanted to tell this story in the form of docu-drama. This is the first time my husband and I co-directing something. Nitesh and I are sports enthusiast and I love tennis. This was a great opportunity to narrate a story which is inspiring. I have grown up watching them play for the country and always aiming for the victory and the new generation needs to know and tell them the do’s and dont’s of partnership in life.

Docu-drama is a genre which hasn’t been explored much by the Indian filmmakers. The Indian audience hasn’t seen much of it. But Ashwiny is confident about her project, “I believe this is the first time we are creating something like this. It’s a docu-drama series and I feel it is important to keep exploring ourselves. We have tried to make it aspirational and inspirational. Also, I like to challenge myself with each project of mine. So working on this was my way to challenge myself.


The 41-year-old has also added a new feather to her cap as she has turned author with her debut fiction novel, Mapping Love which comes out next month.

Talking about her new venture, Tiwari says, “As a storyteller, you always have a lot of ideas and want to narrate them in various ways. Today we have the opportunity to tell thrillers in whatever format we want to and that’s what gives me the happiness. Every once in a while there are stories I want to tell in a medium that brings out the essence in true spirit. And I thought writing a novel was the best way that I could express this story. Mapping Love is that story of falling in love with the art of writing all over again with stillness. It has taken three years typing it to life and I hope people like it and appreciate it."

For the filmmaker, writing a book comes with a lot of challenges, “Any form of art requires a lot of discipline. I picked up a book which gave me an idea about the most famous writers in the world and their schedules. I also believe writing is one of the toughest jobs-to create something solely out of a figment of the imagination is difficult. For me, I enjoyed the process of writing in solitude ever since I embarked upon this journey of writing my first ever novel."

Pointing out the difference between writing a screenplay and a book, the filmmaker says, “Writing a screenplay is a collaborative process. There are many people involved and you keep on bouncing ideas. But when you are writing a book, it is completely yours from the start to the end. It is a very personal process. You can keep on scrapping your work and at the same time enjoy putting something together. And I truly enjoyed the process of writing this book where I had my own desk and my own space with no one to disturb or distract me."

Ask her the chances of adapting her book into a film and the filmmaker says, “I wrote this book with the intention of converting it into a screenplay. It is the most easiest thing for me to do it. But yes, if any producers see the potential of converting this into a film I wouldn’t mind it. One thing is sure that I would want to be the director as I want to direct a film with this kind of a storyline but I wouldn’t involve myself in writing the screenplay."

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first published:July 15, 2021, 12:37 IST