Dus Kahaniyan, which releases today, promises to be unique at many levels. It's for the first time that two directors - Sanjay Gupta and Hansal Mehta - directed two different segments of the same story in a film.
"One story is about Suniel Shetty which I shot, the other is about two kids. Towards the end of the 12-minute story, the two plots merge. We shot them separately and then inter-cut them," Gupta told IANS.
On Wednesday, two days ahead of the film's release, Gupta blocked one whole screen at the PVR multiplex for a Q&A between students of cinema and the directors of Dus Kahaniyan, which strings together 10 different stories.
The screening of one of the stories - Rohit Roy's Rice Plate, which brings Naseeruddin Shah and Shabana Azmi together after a long gap - followed the brainstorming session.
"Out of the six directors, who have contributed to Dus Kahaniyan, I selected Rohit and his film for the powwow at PVR simply because he's a first timer and I want to show cine buffs that even a debutant can make a first-rate film with two of the best actors of the world. And look at the performances he has extracted from the two stalwarts!"
One filmmaker from the Dus Kahaniyan bouquet conspicuous by his absence at its premiere was Apoorva Lakhia who directed the hit action thriller Shootout At Lokhandwala for Gupta. The two fell out during the making of Shootout... and Lakhia vowed not to work again with Gupta.
However, now Gupta gets surprisingly indulgent at Lakhia's mention.
"Let bygones be bygones. Apu is shooting for Mission Istanbul and can't be here. He has made a quirky engaging film Sex On The Beach for Dus Kahaniyan. And guess what? He has even made a guest appearance at the end of his film. Nothing is permanent in this industry. No friendship, no enmity. I won't rule out Apu making another film for my company White Feather."
Gupta is exceptionally gung-ho about Dus Kahaniyan for which Meghna Gulzar and Jasmeet Dodhi have also directed short films.
"On Sunday night I saw the entire bouquet of films with my team. When the first story ended and the second began I was a little uneasy by the sudden shift. After all, for 40 years of my life I've seen the cinematic narrative unfolding in a particular way. But by the third story I was totally in the groove. By the fifth story nobody wanted the interval."
"It gives us another way of making and watching films. It's like this. All our life we've poured daal over our rice. I'm telling you to reverse the process. The food is the same."