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Upstarts: The Story Behind India’s first film on startups

Upstarts

 

The upcoming Netflix release Upstarts is the first Indian film to capture the startup mania sweeping the country. The film’s director Udai Singh Pawar says the audience will get to understand India’s startup revolution in a fun, emotional yet realistic way.

It all started with a question, says Pawar: “Why is there no Indian equivalent to international film ‘The Social Network’?” That led Pawar, who has graduated from IIT Kanpur, on a journey to explore the world behind the startups in India. He says it is a “fictional story but based on things that happened in reality”.

“I studied at IIT Kanpur, and worked at Microsoft Research for three years. I have a background in Bengaluru because I lived there. That was during my techie life. Then I left that life and did films over the past 10 years. I worked for Sudhir Mishra and then I worked on Akshay Kumar’s Airlift. The film’s director Raja Krishna Menon and I get along well. After we finished Airlift, he asked me ‘Why don’t you direct something and I will produce it?’ So he was the one who gave me a break,” Pawar said while looking back at his journey.

“He told me to make a film that ‘only you can make, something personal’. That is how I started thinking about my life and these things. I thought about the people from startups like Ola and Paytm. There are western films like ‘The Social Network’, but there is no Indian equivalent to that,” he added.

The director continued: “I know these people and I know what it takes. So, I thought why don’t I make a film on that and in the course of that talk a bit about startup world…The beauty is that you need not have a degree or something, as long as you have an idea. This is a very interesting time in our country where this world is opening up, so why not talk about the startup revolution in a fun way.”

Upstarts follows the journey of three young college graduates Kapil (Priyanshu Painyuli), Yash (Chandrachoor Rai) and Vinay (Shadab Kamal) from a small town in India, who are captivated by the startup mania sweeping the country. They then decide to start their own company that will change the world. It delves into “What has greater value, their dreams or their friendship?” The film, which is backed by Raja Krishna Menon through his Bandra West Pictures banner, will release on October 18.

“It is a fictional story but based on things that happened in reality. For the film, I went back, met a lot of founders and people from startups like Ola, Paytm, and inMobi. In fact, I even met people from small companies, which shut down. Because I wanted to know the whole extreme of emotions. I was interested in the emotional journey…How does it feel when you are young and you get Rs 100 crore,” he said. (IANS)

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