THE FILM: Chintu ka Birthday carries the values of love and faith that D&S were brought up with, but is situated in an alien land, a war-zone that has political and historical relevance for all humanity. In the middle of the US-Iraq war, one day in April, 2004, an endearing Indian family prepares to celebrate the birthday of their youngest member, six-year old Chintu. A car bomb goes off near the house that completely changes the turn of events. ‘As we fulfil our childhood dream, we hope the film manages to touch an emotional chord in your hearts. It is a tribute to the rich and diverse world of cinema and a celebration of our childhood.’ The film started its festival round recently and will be hitting the silver screens this year.
THE FILMMAKERS: D&S were raised in a middle-class family in a sleepy town called Munger in Bihar. Evenings were spent glued to television screens but aspiring to be a filmmaker was ‘an impossible dream for us’, Satyanshu tells me. ‘Movies were something to be loved from a distance, filmmaking merely a fantasy.’ But what was the one thing they utterly loved about cinema? ‘We have hardly travelled abroad. But through cinema, we have witnessed cultures from around the world. We often wondered how it would be to see characters from our small town with those from other lands. How would it be to hear our mother-tongue being spoken alongside foreign languages?’ While Devanshu followed his dreams of making movies by joining a mass media college, Satyanshu joined Armed Forces Medical College in Pune to pursue MBBS. In early 2008, Devanshu got a chance to assist Nikhil Advani and around that time Satyanshu was finishing his MBBS, dreams yet unfulfilled. Next, he took the plunge, gave up his job as Medial Officer in the Armed Forces, paid the bond money with the help of his friends, and joined Devanshu in Mumbai to make films. By then, the two had written their first film, Chintu Ka Birthday. It was conceived on bits and pieces of paper in lecture halls while the professors spoke about medicine and surgery.
Text Hansika Lohani Mehtani