When an Indian Institute of Management (IIM) graduate teams up with Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) students, they can be expected to launch a tech firm — or a science fiction movie.
Under the direction of an IIM-Lucknow graduate, 29 IIT-Delhi students have made the sci-fi thriller Formula 69, a first in the history of the institution.
The movie is about three final-year IIT-Delhi students who are forced into an adventure trip after their dean is murdered and a secret formula he was working on disappears.
The students - Chatur (played by Hemant Kathuria), Bhains (Himschwet Gaurav) and Magga (Tarun Singhal) - have to solve the mystery and retrieve the formula - apart from clearing their final-year exams - all in a span of six days.
The 99-minute film, written and directed by Nitin Desai, makes use of four magical imaginary inventions.
While the Brain2Beauty cream can convert mental powers into good looks, I-Nak is a pair of spectacles that can transmit and receive video and audio signals. Tastemaker is a special formula that can make any dish delicious and Jugad is a special automobile made up of scrap and runs on biodegradable trash.
"Doing a thriller was quite interesting but what is more encouraging is its cast and crew - all IITians. The movie speaks volumes of the ability of these students and their endeavour to excel in any field they choose," said Desai, who left his plum corporate job in 2005 to pursue a career in creativity.
"IIMs and IITs in India groom talent and produce leaders and the movie is an example of that," Desai told IANS.
The movie was completed in seven months at a cost of about Rs 500,000, funded mainly by the IIT-Delhi.
"Barring a few shots, the movie was entirely shot in our campus and our authorities' cooperation was simply encouraging," said Singhal, a final year BTech student.
He said he was always inclined towards creative pursuits. "I have been associated with the IIT-Delhi's theatre group and will never mind if my career takes a turn towards filmdom.
"All 29 IITians including our deputy registrar have done a fabulous job in the movie," said Ashutosh Matela, an IIT-D alumnus who was production manager of the movie.
The film has been screened in the IIT-Delhi campus and the team behind the movie is talking to some TV channels to market it.
"However, nothing concrete has come out so far," Matela said.