Urmi Juvekar, screenwriter of films “Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye!” and “Shanghai”, believes films and their stories are becoming more and more formulaic.
She said writing process for a series or a mini-series is completely different from a film as it gives storytellers the scope to explore their characters.
“In terms of writing, its challenging because it keeps changing. What we don’t get in films is different character arcs and also what happens in life, people change and actually see them change on screen,” Juvekar said.
“So it’s an all-in-all investment and I think those are very sustained challenges. We were never used to construct our stories like that. Imitate life yet redefine. I find films very designed these days,” she added.
She was speaking at a session during Netflix’s See What’s Next: Asia event here.
“I found that this format pushes your boundaries of collaboration. To kind of work with so many stakeholders, people who have bright and interesting opinions, and to put it all together and go, I think that’s a big challenge.”
Juvekar has adapted author Prayaag Akbar’s “Leila” for Netflix and she is also executive producing it.
The mini-series, being directed by Deepa Mehta and featuring Huma Qureshi in the lead, is set in the near future and tells the story of a mother’s search for her daughter, from whom she was separated 16 years ago.
A chance to explore the concept of dystopia as well as themes of loss and identity is what made Juvekar take up the project.
“The dystopian setting is something we haven’t had in India. That futuristic dystopian setting. There is this notion of loss and that of a person with whom you have certain future connected with. It opens a lot more to explore because it’s not that you lose a person and you’re looking for that person. But you also lose your coordinates as a human being and the search is a search for not just the person but also a search for yourself. Who this new person is? Who is this new person going to be now?
“As a writer, I found this very appealing. You are not bound to be something who you were before, you could have been anybody and now this loss has made you question who was I’ to begin with.