Ad filmmaker Rajesh Krishnan, who made his directorial debut with Kunal Kemmu and Rasika Duggal-starrer Lootcase last year, recently got the Best Debut Director award for his film at the 66th Filmfare Awards. The director is over the moon with the win and says the feeling is still sinking in. “The whole team was elated just with the nomination itself. There was a time when the film wasn’t even ready to hit theatres and getting this award is a dream come true,” he says.
Talking about the journey of Lootcase, which was earlier supposed to release theatrically in October 2019 but ended up taking the OTT route, Rajesh goes down memory lane. “As a screenwriter, I learnt that one of the first things that the audience look for is the journey of your hero. He is usually an underdog, who faces something bad and is up against formidable situations. At the end of the second half, he realises that he cannot go anywhere. It looks like it is the end of him but that’s from where he rises. For me, our film was that hero for us. All the roadblocks actually proved good for us as it showed us who we are and what do we believe in,” he asserts, adding that going further when he does another film, he wouldn’t want it any easier. “I think a lot of the fights that happened over the film were very useful, be it with producers, studio or actors. If there were any arguments, we would go back to think about what will make the film better and more entertaining. The fights never got personal; they were always to better the film,” he insists.
Rajesh believes that this award comes as a ray of hope for upcoming artists who fear that no one will see their work. “When validation comes from an esteemed jury and organisation like Filmfare, you know that there are discerning people who are watching your work. The award comes like a shot in the arm for those who think comedies don’t get as much recognition. If I can do it, so can anyone,” he asserts.
The director reveals that he got an inkling that he might be getting an award a day before the event when he got a call from the organisers. “We didn’t know if they were just calling to tell us we were nominated in eight categories, as we already knew that. But then I thought that because of COVID, it must be a restricted event and they wouldn’t be calling everyone. So, I deduced that maybe we are winning in one of those eight categories, but surprisingly, I got it for a ninth category, Best Debut Director, which I didn’t even know about. So, that was a pleasant surprise,” he smiles, adding that what makes it more special is that his fellow nominees had also done some amazing work. “Since they are so good, I thought being in their company, maybe I am also somewhat good. It just proves that if you do good work, you will get noticed. And it's high time, the good guys should start winning,” he quips.
How did the celebrations go like? “When I reached home, my wife opened the door and after looking at the award, she said to keep it carefully and don’t destroy it by keeping it here and there,” he laughs, sharing that his mother was ecstatic with his win. “The next day my editor landed up at my home and we opened champagne. We couldn’t call many people over due to the situation but hopefully, there will be a big celebration soon,” he concludes.
Image source: Instagram/rajoosworld
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