Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Jolie chaser in Pune gets an award

MUMBAI: Thirty-year old Saurav Dey is not paparazzi but two years ago he trailed Hollywood actor Angelina Jolie when she was filming A Mighty Heart in Pune and made a documentary Chasing Angelina Jolie that won him an Indian Documentary Producers' Association (IDPA) award held in Mumbai last Saturday.

A third year student of the Films & Television Institute of India (FTII), Saurav received the best student documentary (Golden Trophy) award for his unique project, which was a part of his second year academic project.
His project coincided with Angelina and her partner Brad Pitt's visit to India. It was not pre-planned but the idea of chasing Brangelina on their Indian sojourn clicked when he read about it in the newspapers. "She had absolutely shut out the media and so making a documentary on her visit seemed even more relevant."

Recounting his experience he said, "Made in English (with a smattering of Hindi in it), the film is about our steps in trying to get her. But we could not interact with her or Brad, at all. However, we made sure not to cross the ethical boundary during the making of the film. It's a reality documentary showing everything that happened on our way. "
Saurav picked up scraps of information as best as he could from a couple of senior film directors as well as the journalists who were chasing the Hollywood hot shot couple.

On the day Brad and Angelina decided to take the now famous auto rickshaw ride Saurav was luckier than most in getting close to the couple. Later, he learned from the auto driver that he had been asked to take a few foreigners (Brangelina and their son) around the city and that he would be paid for it. The driver was asked to take his celebrity passengers out from a safe entrance but he missed it and went ahead in the direction of the entrance where the rest of the media had assembled. "I had a hunch that they would come out of the basement side so I was already there and was one of the first few to get so close to them."

The auto driver had no clue who the celebrities were so Saurav couldn't get any information from him. Due to the language barrier he did not communicate with them at all. "I think he told me something like Brad Pitt complimenting him as a "good driver" after the ride. But it was not very clear because he did not understand English so well."
Terming it as a "fun documentary film" Saurav says he knew that it would be a hit with the youth but did not expect to receive an award for it. In fact, he was a tad skeptical about the manner in which his documentary would be received. "It's an adventure reality documentary and in that's sense not conventional. That's why I didn't expect to get an award for it, even though in an earlier showing at the FTII it had been well received," says the young filmmaker who will send his award winning assignment to the forthcoming Kerala International Video Festival to be held next month in Trivandrum.This was Saurav's second documentary film and his first one The Last Hoarding Painters was shown at the Jeevika Film Festival.

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