Remember we told you that Neeraj Ghaywan was honoured at the Sundance Institute for his screenplay, Fly Away Solo? Well, now the news is pouring in that this film will be produced by Anurag Kashyap‘s Phantom Films and Guneet Monga, and they’re in talks with Rajkumar Rao (previously Rajkumar Yadav) and Richa Chadda to play the lead roles.
We had a quick chat with Neeraj today, and he told us that more than just the feeling of getting an award, his win at Sundance is great because it helps in getting his film actually made. Sundance put him through a lot of pitch meetings, which resulted in him meeting producers he “couldn’t imagine meeting” otherwise. He said he’s been trying to raise money for this film for about a year now, but thanks to his Sundance win (and the subsequent meetings), he’s finally about to close the deal.
The biggest perk of the award, though, is the mentorship he’ll get from the institute – plus, the accreditation from Sundance will help him going forward in respects to different markets and festivals.
As for Rajkumar and Richa, they’re still in talks, but Neeraj does believe they’d be perfect for the roles. He called them great actors, and says he already shares an equation with them because he worked with the two for Gangs of Wasseypur (he was the assistant director on that film). He also has a personal relationship with Anurag Kashyap, who he met while they wrote for the blog Passion For Cinema, which shut down some time ago. In fact, Anurag is the one who convinced Neeraj to get into films and move over from the corporate side, so Neeraj claims that, “Anurag is responsible for turning my life upside down!”
Here’s congratulating Neeraj once again for his win, and we’re looking forward to seeing Fly Away Solo get made into a film. We know he’s excited, although he can’t describe it: “There’s no way to explain the feeling of seeing your film go from paper to floors.” Especially one that he’s been living with for two to three years!