Eleven for One

HOW do 11 directors make one film? Not an omnibus film such as Bombay Talkies or New York, I Love You — where short, separate segments are strung together by one common theme — but just one story directed by multiple filmmakers. Interestingly, the filmmakers boast influences as varied as the underground indie style of Q (Gandu) and the mainstream, glossy canvas of Rajshree Ojha (Aisha). A new film, X attempts to bring about such a collaboration by bringing 11 filmmakers together to narrate one story. Currently under production, the film will bring together directors Abhinav Shiv Tiwari (Oass), Anu Menon (London Paris New York), Hemant Gaba (Shuttlecock Boys), Pratim D Gupta (Paanch Adhyay), film critic Raja Sen, Sandeep Mohan (Love, Wrinkle Free), Suparn Verma (Aatma), Thiagarajan Kumararaja (Aaranya Kaandam), and Sudhish Kamath (Good Night Good Morning) apart from Q and Ojha. The directors met in Mumbai two weeks ago before the announcement of the film.

The idea of the experimental collaboration was born in a two day-event called The Goa Project held in March, which two of the directors, Kamath and Mohan, had attended. The event, which invited professionals from different fields to interact, brainstorm and create unique partnerships over the unlikeliest of projects, laid the basis for the idea. Kamath wanted to shoot a film during the event itself but it didn't materialise because of a lack of funds and time. "Instead, we decided to take the idea forward and make it bigger in scope," says Kamath. He met Shiladitya Bora at the event, who came on board as the film's executive producer. "It is exciting to be involved with a film that will have diverse genres such as rom-com, thriller, noir and horror together; I had to get involved and say, 'You guys focus on the film and don't worry about anything else, I'll figure out the finances and production,'" says Bora. The film will be produced by Manish Mundra.

"In one film, we are trying to mix these different textures that have made the participating directors popular with audiences," says Kamath, who has been instrumental in getting the directors together. They'll be interconnected by a surreal experience the protagonist, a 40-something filmmaker, goes through when he meets a mysterious girl at a film festival. He goes back to the memories of his 10 former girlfriends in separate segments, each to be directed by a different filmmaker.

Actor-filmmaker Rajat Kapur plays the protagonist.

The film will be shot in seven locations including San Francisco, London, Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata and a small town in Tamil Nadu. It is expected to be ready for release by September.

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