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As a writer, you want to work with actors who elevate the writing, since movies are a collaborative process: Advaita Kala

By Anjali Nauriyal
Advaita Kala is a bestselling internationally published author and award winning screen writer. Her debut novel ‘Almost Single’ sold over 200,000 copies in India alone and was published in France, Canada and the USA.
Advaita has won multiple awards for writing the national award winning film, ‘Kahaani’, starring Vidya Balan. The movie has been adapted into Telugu and rights have been sold for other adaptations.
Advaita hosts the wildly popular ‘Sunday Club’ on YouTube. Advaita is a regular participant in prime time news debates. She has been an election analyst for CNN News 18 – for multiple elections – General Elections 2019, UP, Punjab, Rajasthan, etc. She is published regularly in newspapers in English and Hindi, as well as digital platforms like ‘FirstPost’, etc. Her next film, ‘Neeyat’ starring Vidya Balan, is releasing today.
In an informal chat with Garhwal Post Advaita Kala talks about her latest film ‘Neeyat’ and her Uttarakhand connection
What is your Uttarakhand connection?
I was born in Dehradun and went to Welham Girls’ School for a couple of years. Moreover this is my Janmabhoomi and I intend to make it my Karma Bhoomi as well. I hail from the village of Sumari in Pauri Garhwal. My grandfather Shankar Prasad Kala, was the first engineer of Garhwal and studied at Roorkee Engineering College. After traveling the world and the country, I have set anchor in Dehradun and live between, Dehradun and Gurgaon.
How did script writing discover you?
Siddharth Anand, most recently the director of ‘Pathan’, contacted me after reading my best selling novel ‘Almost Single’ and asked if I would want to write a script with him, that’s how the journey began and it has been very fulfilling, with all the ups and downs.
Your first two scripts ‘Anjaana Anjani’ and ‘Kahaani’ were well received. What is the third one all about?
‘Kahaani’ my film with Vidya Balan did particularly well and I won a lot of awards for it. ‘Neeyat’ is very different from ‘Kahaani’, I want to specify this, because since it has Vidya and me as a writer, so there are expectations of something similar. But it’s a whole new film and time and I hope people enjoy it as much as they did ‘Kahaani’. The aim is to entertain the audience and give them respite from every day living. I hope ‘Neeyat’ will do that in full measure.
How well does Vidya Balan suit your story?
She is a great actress, very sensitive and brings a delicacy to her performances, which is truly unique. As a writer, you want to work with actors who elevate the writing, since movies are a collaborative process. Vidya does that in full measure. I have been fortunate in the actors who have essayed the characters I have written – be it Priyanka Chopra, who is also a very warm and friendly person, Vidya or Ranbir Kapoor.
What are your plans for directing your own script?
Would love to but need a producer! And I would like to shoot it in Uttarakhand. In fact one of my projects is a show based in Uttarakhand and should be going into shooting soon.