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Anusha Rizvi

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We first woke up to the genius of Anusha Rizvi when she tickled two of the country’s most raucous industries into stunned silence. Her first film, Peepli Live — a dark comedy about farmer suicides, poor governance and a frenzied media — became an instant favorite with both the film industry and the journalistic world.

“Everybody laughed with the film,” said Rizvi in an interview following the film’s stupendous success, “but everyone felt it pinch”.

Once a student of history, Rizvi worked as a reporter and then a documentary-filmmaker before she ventured into the mainstream with her debut film. As impressive for it’s minutely detailed casting and production, as for it’s razor-sharp satire, Peepli was chosen as India’s entry for the category of Best Foreign Language Film at the Oscars in the year 2010. Soon after, it was also chosen as the Best Feature Film at the Durban Film Festival, firmly lodging Rizvi as the woman with the Midas touch in the popular imagination.

In spite of the unprecedented success, Rizvi’s skill at weaving a story came as no surprise to those who know her — apart from writing and filmmaking, she is also Executive Producer with the Dastangoi team, responsible for reviving the lost tradition of Urdu storytelling. Currently involved in cooking up an adaptation of Amitav Ghosh’s award-winning book, ‘Sea of Poppies’, Rizvi is planning to bring a Bhojpuri-English flavour to her latest film. Given the sublime fare she served up as her first course, this is a mix of flavours we simply cannot wait for.


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