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Amit Agarwal: Birth of a story teller

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Amit Agarwal is calm and composed, the 42 year old debutant writer, director and producer is eagerly waiting for the audience reaction for his rom com with an intriguing twist FASTEY FASAATEY which is releasing in India, USA, Canada and other countries by Venus Worldwide Entertainment Pvt Ltd on 21st June 2019.

Having an experience spanning 18 years in cinema, Amit has worked with some of the finest filmmaking talents like Ramesh Sippy, Mr. Manmohan Shetty, Prakash Jha, Raj Kumar Kohli to name a few in their endeavors in his position as Asst. Director, Manager – Film Projects (Adlabs), Asst. Vice President – Film Projects – Walkwater, currently serving as a Creative Consultant to Azure Entertainment Pvt Ltd, Amit Agarwal has turned into an independent producer with his first baby FASTEY FASAATEY, the rom com with a twist features Karishma Sharma, Arpit Chaudhary and introduces Nachiket Narvekar ( son of acclaimed filmmaker N. Chandra) in the lead. A story teller since childhood, here Amit Agarwal in a heartfelt conversation talks about his first movie, dreams, the influence of cinema in his life and lots more…

How and when the passion for cinema and storytelling happened?
Like anyone, I also enjoy watching movies and since childhood I was passionate about telling stories. I use to make my own stories and narrate it to my friends, class mates etc. One day during my tenth standard while returning home from school with my group of three pals, discussing what we will become as grownups and sharing our career choices, strangely just out the blue, I said I will make a movie. Nothing was planned as such and since from the day it came out from my conscious/subconscious mind. I made it as my career objective and after my studies came to the city of dreams Mumbai since I am from a small town near Bareilly. I did a job in Mumbai for around a year and a half then pursued my dreams and entered the movie industry in 2001.

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After 27 years since you shared your dreams as a teenager, finally you have your own baby – your own movie FASTEY FASAATEY?
FASTEY FASAATEY can be called as my first baby but in reality, my first baby is nurtured by Mr. Manmohan Shetty and Sunil Khetarpal. Right from scripting to completion, Mr. Manmohan Shetty has been the driving force. In fact, after watching the movie Mr. Manmohan Shetty helped in getting Venus as the distributor. Sunil Khetarpal also has an important contribution in the movie. My baby – FASTEY FASAATEY couldn’t have seen the light without Mr. Manmohan Shetty, Sunil Khetarpal and Venus.

Why a rom com to begin with?
FASTEY FASAATEY appears like a rom com but it comes with a twist. I have attempted a clean family entertainer. It is set in the Hindi heartland and is based on the lives of three modern-day youngsters Aakash, Anisha, and Dev, who get caught in the traditional family web when Aakash`s parents start forcing him to get married.

How long did it took you to realize your dream?
FASTEY FASAATEY is my first baby but before this one went on floors, I was working on a movie since 3 years but unfortunately it didn,t get materialize for some reasons. It took me nine months to develop & lock the script & about one year to complete the pre-production, shooting and the post-production of the film.

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Why newcomers?
Initially I had a known face in mind, not an A – list star but a popular face, I don,t wish to reveal the name but the interest shown couldn’t be taken forward due to unavoidable reasons. Then I realized that every star has a beginning and nobody is a born star and the story is strong enough. So I casted Karishma Sharma, Arpit Chaudhary and Nachiket Narvekar as they suited the characters defined in the script.

You had a story and considering your vast experience in production why didn’t you floated FASTEY FASAATEY under a known banner?
I wanted to tell my own story, as I said earlier FASTEY FASAATEY has the backing of Mr. Manmohan Shetty and Sunil Khetarpal as a person.

What difference you noticed while making movies under a known banner and while working as an independent producer?
You smell the ground reality much better. Aate daal ka sahi bhav maloom padta hai. Having a position in a known film production and getting things done is easier then getting it done as an independent producer. The chair, the position comes with power and tools. You have the brand, your colleagues to do the job for you. As an independent producer you get to know the minutes a little more, the learning gets deep as you interact ranging from the ground level ( while shooting) to the top brass ( while pitching/selling your movie). It was a great learning experience.

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An established banner like T –series is coming with KABIR SINGH on this Friday, do you sense any competition, and will it have any impact on FASTEY FASAATEY?
I am grateful to Mr. Ganesh Jain from Venus for giving me an all India release. Am thankful to Mr. Mr. Manmohan Shetty for backing me till the very end. Now coming to KABIR SINGH, I have seen the Telugu original ARJUN REDDY and it’s a cult on its own. The Telugu one was certified ‘A’, I have no idea what certificate CBFC has given to KABIR SINGH. KABIR SINGH comes under a bigger banner with an established actor like Shahid Kapoor, ours is a small family rom com the genre is completely opposite. There is no competition at all, there would have been a competition if the genres of FASTEY FASAATEY and KABIR SINGH overlapped but that’s not the case. We are safe as audience for both the movies are different.

You have worked with stalwarts like Ramesh Sippy, Mr. Manmohan Shetty, Prakash Jha, Raj Kumar Kohli, whose work has been most influential in your journey as a filmmaker?
I have tried to learn from all. FASTEY FASAATEY is my first movie and the influence of my mentors should flash somewhere. Honestly I don,t know whose work has influenced me the most. I am a student and I am awed by good cinema that entertains and enthralls, it can be by anyone from anywhere. I have tried to make a family entertainer honestly which has some intriguing quirks. Now it is up to the audience to judge how far I have reached and whether I am able to make them happy or not. As far as the ‘influence’ thing is concerned, I would be highly obliged if serious and sensible viewers like you find any resemblance of any senior in my work. I have tried to make an entertainer – a cinema that I believe in that’s it.

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