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Bollywood newbie Dev Goel doesn't just want to make a film, he aims to repeat history. His inspiration is Rocky, the 1976 film that a then unknown actor called Sylvester Stallone wrote and acted in. The film went on to win three Oscars and erased Stallone's nobody status forever. Goel feels he will share a similar career graph. Goel has also penned his debut script, Pri and Me, and is acting in it. "Being a writer-actor is the secret for success in Bollywood," says the debutant.
He isn't alone. On Saturday, entrepreneur Sachin Joshi who marks his debut as actor and producer with Azaan, unveiled its first look at an allied venue in Cannes. Another filmmaker, Deepkshika Nagpal, who has penned, acted in, produced and directed Yeh Dooriyan, is planning its release in the next few months.
The concept of ego projects or, "self-made projects" isn't new in India. The last few years have seen many aspiring actors and directors take the plunge and do everything themselves. The trend started with Kamaal Rashid Khan, who notoriously publicised himself as KRK when he announced his film Deshdrohi, in 2008. He had written, directed, produced, even acted in it. Soon after, a blind actor Naseer Khan produced a movie called Shadow, in which he played the protagonist. Then, there was singer Vivek Sudarshan, who first launched his debut music album iVivek and then a film inspired from the album titled Impatient Vivek .
While most aspirants think that they are cut out for all aspects of filmmaking, a few admit that it was because established actors and directors didn't beleive in them that compelled them to do it alone. "When I first wrote the script of Deshdrohi, all I wanted to do was direct it. I was looking for an Akshay Kumar or a Sanjay Dutt to work in it but everybody refused. I had to cast myself," explains Kamaal. The film sank without a trace.