In the entertainment world, some extraordinary individuals have emerged from humble beginnings in small towns, capturing hearts and leaving an indelible impact on audiences worldwide.
Here is a list of seven small-town writers and their inspiring journeys of soaring to great heights.ALSO READ: Zoya Akhtar & Reema Kagti defend creative choices in 'Made in Heaven Season 2' amid Yashica Dutt controversy
Hailing from Itarsi in Madhya Pradesh, Nitesh is a renowned Indian filmmaker, screenwriter, and lyricist celebrated for his contributions to Hindi cinema. He embarked on his directorial journey as a co-director in ‘Chillar Party’ (2011), which earned the prestigious National Film Award for Best Children’s Film. Tiwari then went on to direct the intriguing supernatural political drama, ‘Bhoothnath Returns' (2014). His most remarkable achievement came with ‘Dangal’ (2016), a film that he co-wrote and directed, and went on to become the highest-grossing Indian film of all time. Among his other notable works are ‘Bareilly Ki Barfi’, ‘Chhichhore’, ‘Ghar Ki Murgi’, and ‘Ankahi Kahaniya’. Recently, he produced Zee5’s ‘Tarla’, starring Huma Qureshi, and directed and co-wrote Prime Video’s ‘Bawaal’, featuring Varun Dhawan and Janhvi Kapoor. Currently, Nitesh is working on an exciting new project titled ‘Bas Karo Aunty’. His journey from a small town to the heights of Indian cinema is truly inspiring.
Reema, from Borhapjan in Tinsukia district, Assam, is a versatile talent. She started as an assistant director, working with notable filmmakers like Farhan Akhtar, Ashutosh Gowariker, Honey Irani, and Mira Nair. Reema has been associated with Excel Entertainment since its inception, co-founding Tiger Baby Films with Zoya Akhtar in 2015. Her impressive screenwriting includes ‘Talaash’, ‘Bombay Talkies’, ‘Dil Dhadakne Do’, ‘Gold’, ‘Gully Boy’, and ‘Made in Heaven’. Recently, she co-wrote and co-directed Prime Video’s ‘Dahaad’, featuring Sonakshi Sinha, Gulshan Devaiah, Vijay Varma, and Sohum Shah. Excitement mounts for her upcoming project, ‘Made in Heaven Season 2’, where her storytelling brilliance will undoubtedly shine once more
Born in Guwahati, Sudip pursued an MBA from IIM-Ahmedabad in 2002. He then moved to Mumbai and joined major FMCG companies. However, his passion for screenwriting led him to explore this field further, and after writing a short film in 2006, he immersed himself in learning the craft. In 2014, Sharma made his mark in feature screenwriting with the gripping thriller ‘NH10’, drawing inspiration from real-life honor killing cases. Continuing his success, Sudip collaborated with director Abhishek Chaubey, writing the dialogues and screenplay for the crime drama ‘Udta Punjab’ and ‘Sonchiriya’. Recently, he co-wrote and created ‘Kohrra’, featuring Barun Sobti and Harleen Sethi, which gained immense popularity in the OTT space.
Hailing from Dehradun, Uttarakhand, Alankrita has carved a niche for herself as a bold and fearless writer-director. With films like ‘Lipstick Under My Burkha’ and ‘Dolly Kitty Aur Woh Chamakte Sitare’, she tackles societal taboos and highlights women’s empowerment in her work. Srivastava’s thought-provoking narratives challenge the status quo and shed light on the complexities of contemporary Indian society. ‘Made in Heaven’ Season 2 directed by Alankrita, Neeraj Ghaywan, Nitya Mehra, Reema Kagti and Zoya Akhtar, and produced by Ritesh Sidhwani and Farhan Akhtar’s Excel Media & Entertainment and Zoya Akhtar and Reema Kagti’s Tiger Baby Films, is all set stream on Prime Video on August 10.
Raised in Muzaffarpur, Bihar, Arunabh is a versatile Indian entrepreneur, producer, director, screenwriter, and actor. He is best known as the founder of ‘The Viral Fever’ (TVF), a popular digital content creation company. Arunabh’s academic journey led him to complete his B Tech in Electrical Engineering from IIT Kharagpur. Subsequently, he landed an assistant position under Farah Khan at Shah Rukh Khan’s production house, Red Chillies Entertainment. During this time, he served as an assistant director for the blockbuster movie, ‘Om Shanti Om’. Recently, Arunabh co-wrote the gripping crime drama series, ‘Kaalkoot’, alongside Sumit Saxena. The series features talented actors Vijay Varma and Shweta Tripathi in lead roles. With his diverse talents and entrepreneurial spirit, Arunabh continues to make a significant impact in the entertainment industry.
Hailing from Bhawani Mandi, a small town in Rajasthan, Swapnil has emerged as a rising star in the world of writing. His audio series ‘Insta Millionaire’ on Pocket FM has garnered millions of listeners and prestigious accolades. While starting with supporting roles in web series like ‘Crash Course’, it was Swapnil’s exceptional talent as a writer that propelled him to new heights. He has also made a mark in theatre as a writer with acclaimed plays like ‘Romeo and Juliet in Smart Cities of Contemporary India’, and ‘HAIN!’ Additionally, he showcased his skills as a writer-actor in the Disney+Hotstar production ‘Rubisha’. The young talent is currently writing for ‘Insta Millionaire’.
Born in Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh, Tigmanshu is known for his distinctive storytelling style. His films like ‘Paan Singh Tomar’ and ‘Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster’ showcase a unique blend of realism and intensity. Dhulia’s evocative narratives and strong character portrayals have garnered critical acclaim, establishing him as a small-town writer with a powerful voice. Tigmanshu recently directed the political thriller ‘Garmi’ streaming on SonyLiv, while he has signed a three-film/series deal with ‘Goldfish’ producer Amit Saxena’s Splendid Films.
Who is your favorite? Leave in your comments below.ALSO READ: 'Jee Le Zaraa': Reema Kagti puts a hold on all rumours; film to go on floors with the original cast