Born in Prayagraj, filmmaker Divyansh Pandit dabbled into short films for over a decade to realise his directorial dreams. He has directed already 12 shorts films for his own production house and 20-odd projects for a company he was working for to fund his projects.
“Whatever I have learnt in these 12 years it has been on the go. My biggest learning was when I joined Rajkumar Santoshi sir unofficially for Ajab Prem Ki Gajab Kahani and then as an assistant director in Phata Poster Nikla Hero,” shares Pandit.
The Kashmiriyat and Tere Jaise Yaar Kahan writer-director says, “After I started making short films everyone many suggested to take up film direction. But I was well aware about my footing so I just focused on making more shorts that were my testing ground. We kept levelling up and worked with wonderful actors amazing Jackie Shroff, Satish Kaushik, Zareena Wahab and Shishir Sharma.”
Pandit also took up a job to fund his own films. “I was making short films for an info-media company and doing travel shows, pre-wedding shoots and making ad films where I used to earn. Later, I used that money for making my short films. This taught me another important aspect of budgeting and cost-cutting,” he adds.
Talking about his initial days, Pandit says, “My father Deepak Pandit was a selector of junior India team that won the World Cup against Pakistan at Lords (1996). I was also playing cricket under Praveen Amre and Chandrakant Pandit but then I shifted my focus to films. I inherit it from my mother who had acting aspirations when she came to Mumbai. During her illness, I made a short film which triggered things for me and gave birth to direction dreams.”
Pandit is focusing on his debut feature film. “I met Mulk producer Deepak Mukut and he loved my concept of this revenge drama Palatwar. I’m big fan of Ajay-Atul always and wanted to write my story on their songs. But they wanted me to give them a complete script and that’s when they came on board. Now we are deciding the casting of the film to start shooting,” he tells.
Since 2017 his short films have bagged nominations at Dada Saheb Phalke Festival every year. “It started with my first sort film Lallan from Allahabad. Besides, we got good recognition at the festival circuit. My award-winning film Hickey that was presented by Pradeep Sarkar, got over five million views, while Jihaad Hai has over seven million views on my official channel. On other platforms it has manifold views. Mumbai Police video too went viral,” Pandit concludes.