Exclusive! Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari: Having a 'never give up' spirit is very important for a woman to grow

The filmmaker reveals that her onscreen female characters have real-life inspirations 

Exclusive! Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari: Having a 'never give up' spirit is very important for a woman to grow
Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari
  • Arundhuti Banerjee

Last Updated: 01.43 PM, Jan 02, 2023


Being a female filmmaker, Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari has managed to create her signature as a storyteller. In her films, the female protagonist has some distinct qualities that are close to reality and a reflection of who she is as an individual.

In the last two years, the filmmaker had three projects - the anthology Ankahi Kahaniya, the sports documentary titled Break Point, and her debut as a web series director with Faadu.

In a special conversation with OTTplay, Ashwiny opens up about how every single female character in her story has a real-life inspiration.

Making her prominence with the feature film Nil Battey Sannata starrong Swara Bhaskar as the leading lady, Ashwiny's characterisation of Chanda - a single mother and housemaid - was appreciated by critics and audiences alike.

Recalling the film, Ashwiny told OTTplay, "All the characters that you watch onscreen are somewhere have real-life inspiration, and Chanda's character was one of them. You know, my mother was someone who always encouraged me to be independent in whichever way, and I was always told not to give up on financial independence even after getting married and having children. Having a 'never give up' spirit is very important for a woman to grow and that will inspire her children, because mothers influence us the most. So, the spirit of Chanda somewhere came from that thought."

Her next directorial was 2017's Bareilly Ki Barfi with Kriti Sanon, Ayushmann Khurrana and Rajkummar Rao. The story was a love triangle and it was the first time that Kriti played a girl-next-door - a break from her glam image.

"Kriti's character, Bitti, was very close to my heart. Her interaction with her parents, especially with her father was quite something, because Bitti was the only child of her parents. I was quite like Bitti to my parents," shared Ashwiny, giving us more insights about Kriti's clothes in the film.

"I was one of those girls in my college who would wear colorful cotton kurtis with jeans; that was the trend in our college days. I also love wearing bright colours with patchwork and embroidery. So, when I was thinking about how to dress Bitti, I made her wear everything that I used to wear when I was a college student," she said.

Her next film was Panga, starring Kangana Ranaut. It is the story of a boxer who is also a mother and how she restores her sports career after motherhood.

"I think that all working mothers have the guilt of not spending enough time with our children and about our work-life balance. We feel guilty to be ambitious when we are mothers. Somewhere, I, being a working mother, also wanted to address that in the film. So, the film was a reflection of that thought. Also, I think a child is the equal responsibility of both the parents; so you can see how in the last leg of the film, when Jaya decided to go back to her Kabaddi career, her husband shares the responsibility of their son," shared the filmmaker who is the mother of two children and also the wife of celebrated filmmaker Nitesh Tiwari.

Ashwiny has quite an interesting line-up as a producer, with three films. And each of them is different from another.

She is producing the Huma Qureshi-starrer biopic Tarla, based on the life journey of food writer and chef Tarla Dalal, followed by the film Bas Karo Aunty, starring Ishwak Singh, and the Varun Dhwan and Janhvi Kapoor-starrer Bawaal.

Ashwiny's latest web series Faadu is streaming on SonyLIV.