Eshwar talks Code Name Abdul!
A movie which enticed me and also made me jump out of my seat. A thriller but also a women-oriented Espionage thriller which was magnificently produced and shot in the tri-state area. I had a chance to speak with Eshwar Gunturu about his most recent movie ‘Code Name Abdul’. In New York, four Counter Intelligence agents from India’s Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) are given a mission to find an elusive Terrorist. Check out what Eshwar had to say about his movie!
Congrats on the film being shown recently at SAIFF and also Jaipur film festival. How has the response been for the film?
Thank you. It feels great that we had our North American Premiere of “CODE NAME ABDUL” at South Asian International Film Festival (SAIFF) in New York City. It was amazing that we had a sold-out screening. We showed to a packed house not just in New York but also in Jaipur. And even though our film being an Espionage Thriller, moves at a rapid pace, people were engrossed throughout the film which was just good.
The fact that two different set of audiences from 2 different countries…New York & Jaipur; were able to understand and enjoy our film throughout gives us a fantastic positive vibe. We are looking forward to few more festivals, fingers crossed.
The movie is about 4 Counter Intelligence agents from India’s Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) who are given a mission to find an elusive Terrorist. What made you decide to write this sort of story being a thriller?
I usually write the kind of films I love to see. I want the audience to experience things the way I see & feel them. Lately, the Political climate of India and Pakistan has been the driving force for me to delve into this topic & give my own personal take on it in the form of a fictional story. Usually in films, Intelligence Agents are portrayed as the James Bond – super cool types, but in reality, they are just like regular people with regular emotions & conflicts. They are plain looking but only with sharper minds, exceptional responses and a very high sense of moral values. They almost always work in teams…etc These are just some factors & research that has gone into this film’s backdrop.
Also, another important factor was that this being an Indie Project, I wanted to consciously write a dialogue and Character driven film.
So luckily my script worked out well in this Context. And keeping up with the Women-oriented films being made in Hindi off late, ours is a Woman-oriented Espionage Thriller.
You shot mostly in NYC – did you think of shooting anywhere else besides the tri-state area considering you are from NYC.
The main location in the film was in the Pennsylvania woods and the story required this location to be close to a big city. And which city can be better than the Big Apple?
Also, in New York, we had the best Indie circuit along with the maximum number of Indian-language speaking actors out of all of North America. Los Angeles has few South-Asian actors but most of them are into Hollywood movies.
Hence, I wrote the story keeping New York, New Jersey & Pennsylvania in mind.
Tanishaa is a well-known name in India – how did the offer to her come about as her playing the role of Salma.
Its sheer luck that Tanishaa came onboard. I had approached her on Facebook with the film and was absolutely shocked when she got back.
I am sure many Bollywood stars are approached by Filmmakers on Social media but no one would have connected like this 🙂 From what I know, the first thing which caught Tanisha’s attention was our title “CODE NAME ABDUL”. She then asked for the script and I immediately sent her a draft. Thereafter we did some back n forth…she loved the 9th Draft bound script we sent her and came onboard.
She later told me that she was very excited that she was to play the Central character “SALMA” as she had never played such a strong protagonist before.
Tanishaa brought a lot to the project and we are very thankful to her for the same. She was professional & we could see how she brought her experience in play. She is a very sweet and warm person. She has worked very hard on her character & for the film overall.
Where can viewers expect to see the film in the USA and India and where can they find it screening?
As of now, we have few more festivals in the pipeline, for which we are building up an audience interest through online promos.
Once the Festival rounds are done, we will focus on the Theatrical release….but they can definitely keep track of the release date by watching out our Film’s page on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/CodeNameAbdul
Be sure to check out your local listing if the film is playing and don’t forget to tweet us @urbanasian and tell us what you think!