Filmmaker Anurag Kashyap is set to give 12 debut directors one big joint break with his upcoming production, The Last Act. The newbies have directed the mystery thriller in 12 separate parts. And on December 12, Anurag is going to have a grand premiere for the dozen directors at PVR, Juhu.
In 2007, the Bollywood release Dus Kahaniyaan was helmed by a team of six directors. The Malayalam film, Kerala Café (2009), was also another such anthology film. But Abhijeet Das, the film’s creative director insists The Last Act isn’t anything like them. “The whole idea was to make one feature film, instead of compiling 12 different movies with independent stories,” says Abhijeet, adding, “This film is not a collection of short stories or films. When we first thought of the concept, we had decided that it will not be an amalgamation. It tells only one story.”
The 12 directors were handpicked by Anurag and director Sudhir Mishra from over 600 entries. Each director was narrated a part of the entire script and then asked to shoot it as they’d see fit. At no point during the shooting did the 12 directors know who their fellow co-directors were. “They had never even met each other until recently. They hadn’t spoken to each other all through the shooting as well,” says Abhijeet. The fact that the 12 directors could not make sense of the individual parts they were asked to shoot independently was an added challenge. “They did not know how their parts were going to come together,” says Abhijeet.
Interestingly, this film is being touted as India’s first release that has dialogue in six different languages — Tamil Haryanvi, Bengali, Marathi, Hindi and English. Anurag says, “I have always believed that making a film is all about telling a story — selflessly, honestly and fearlessly. This project, The Last Act, is one such journey for us and the 12 filmmakers that we chose from across the country. We had imagined it to be just another collaborative project, but it has taken great shape and stunned us all. It’s an exciting shot in the arm for indie filmmakers.”