Film - Theatre - Music/Dance - Books - TV - Gallery - Art - Fashion/Lifestyle - Video

London Film Festival 2015: ‘The New Classmate’ – Educating Apeksha…

London Film Festival 2015: ‘The New Classmate’ – Educating Apeksha…

October 16 2015

Education and aspiration are at the heart of debutante filmmaker Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari’s film…

THERE’S a strong social message in Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari’s debut film, “The New Classmate” which enjoyed two screenings at the London Film Festival (LFF).

At one of the LFF directors’ meet and talk over tea sessions this week Tiwari (pictured below) told “I don’t want my film to go just into the multiplexes, I want it to reach a wide an audience as possible and if necessary do it the old way, get a truck, drive out to the villages, set up a white sheet with a projector and show it to everyone.

“I want people to be inspired by it.”

The plot of her film at one level is very simple: single mum Chandra – played with great empathy and seductive innocence by Swara Bhaskar, who has more of a Bollywood pedigree than an independent film one – wants her young teenage daughter Apeksha, to study well and not have to be a maid, like she is.

There is a problem – Apeksha likes to plonk herself in front of the TV and while away her time doing anything but study.

When Mum learns her daughter is not a great student and has no ambition or aspiration, she almost loses it.

For Tiwari, the set-up helped to serve an important point – in low income households girls rarely continued their education beyond the age of 11 in India.

“Thirty-six per cent of them either drop out as they are going to get married or they have to support their family and earn money,” Tiwari declaimed.

There is then little incentive to keep children – especially girls in school – and the parents of these children often didn’t understand why they should support their children through it.

“How can parents, who are uneducated (through no fault of their own) inspire their own children,” she reflected.

“And the story was purely to say whichever part of society you come from, if you have a dream, you have to push yourself to accomplish it.”

Part of the film was inspired by Tiwari’s own understanding of aspiration through someone who helps look after her five-year-old twins at home in Mumbai. The film though is set in Agra to accentuate the ‘small town, no ambition’ syndrome in Apeksha – and the final scene with the backdrop of the Taj Mahal could melt the coldest of hearts.

Tiwari explained: “My nanny sends her daughter to an English medium school (where the teaching is in English- these schools are generally more expensive and competitive) but she feels bad she can’t help her own daughter, because she doesn’t know English.”

As in the film, even parents who want the best for their children academically wonder whether they can afford to put their offspring through school and university.

There is little help for higher education, and while a lot of primary education and secondary education is nominally free, standards are not always high and the better schools do charge – though there are some government funded schemes also to help with this.

The film may sound a bit dry and dull when put in these terms, but Tiwari’s story is watchable and warm and Bhaskar’s character is attractive and radiates hope, so much so that her wealthy retired employer helps her out with the fees.

But even with coaching and extra jobs to pay for it, Apeksha shows little appetite for graft and endeavour, until her mother decides there is only one final course of action open to her.

She manages to enrol herself into the same school – much to the consternation of her daughter.

Mother soon befriends the gifted and the grafters who take to her and it isn’t long before Apeksha comes round.

But it is still a little grudging – the turn is probably too big a plot element to give away here, but Tiwari’s own energy and fervour make you believe in the film a little more than you first might.

For a critical western film sensibility, it’s probably a little too sweet and sentimental, especially its last third, but in India it should do well and strike a chord with those very people Tiwari is desperate to communicate with and ‘educate’.


As a former advertising creative for the global ad agency Leo Burnett, she worked on the account of the Indian version of “Who Wants to be a Millionaire?

In India, the programme when it first started was bigger than anything and was fronted by the country’s most recognisable Bollywood star, Amitabh Bachchan.

Programme makers Sony in India knew that for the show to work it had to attract the same people Tiwari is keen now to support in her film.

She remembers making an ad with a young girl who gets through to the final rounds and Bachchan asks, as he does in the real shows, what would the girl most like to say on national TV to everyone.

She turns a common Hindi phrase upside down: ‘Congratulations it’s a boy into ‘Congratulations, it’s a girl’.”

“It really resonated with the audience,” said Tiwari. “I want to take my film to the country, it’s aspirational.”

The “New Classmate” is produced by Jar Pictures/Opticus Inc and has been acquired by acclaimed director-producer Aanand Rai of Colour Yellow Production and it is set to be distributed by Eros international and Films Boutique. Eros is part of a big Bollywood studio which already has a well established distribution network, so there is a good chance it will screen in the UK.

“I wanted to make a movie that was (socially) relevant. It wasn’t just about making a movie, getting distribution and releasing it.”

It had to be about more for her and…it is, and even if only a handful of parents rethink their plans for their daughters and keep them on at school in India, it will be worth it.

  • The London Film Festival continues until Sunday, October 18 and of the Indian films still screening: ‘Guilty‘ tomorrow (Friday), 8.45pm, NFT1, Sunday at 11.30am Odeon Leicester Square; ‘Kothanodi‘ Saturday (October 17) 6pm, ICA; Sunday, 8.30pm, NFT2.
    • Cannes Palme d’Or winner ‘Dheepan‘ about Sri Lankan refugees settling in France, Friday, Picturehouse Central, 6.30pm; Saturday, Odeon Leicester Square, 2.15pm
    • Sherpa‘ (about Nepal) Sunday, Cineworld Haymarket, 12.30pm
    Share Button
    Written by Asian Culture Vulture


    1. make money with a iphone · November 24, 2017

      … [Trackback]

      […] Read More here|Read More|Find More Informations here|Here you will find 59723 more Informations|Infos on that Topic: […]

    2. taxi paris · November 28, 2017

      … [Trackback]

      […] Find More on|Find More|Find More Infos here|There you will find 2548 additional Infos|Infos to that Topic: […]

    3. Engineer Aws Alkhazraji · November 30, 2017

      … [Trackback]

      […] Find More here|Find More|Read More Infos here|There you can find 1235 additional Infos|Informations to that Topic: […]

    4. instalação informática · December 15, 2017

      … [Trackback]

      […] Read More on|Read More|Find More Infos here|Here you will find 69430 more Infos|Infos on that Topic: […]

    5. eng · December 25, 2017

      … [Trackback]

      […] Find More here|Find More|Read More Infos here|There you will find 3053 more Infos|Informations to that Topic: […]

    6. political_iq · December 26, 2017

      … [Trackback]

      […] Read More here|Read More|Read More Infos here|Here you can find 12696 more Infos|Informations to that Topic: […]

    7. Software klinik · January 9, 2018

      … [Trackback]

      […] Find More on|Find More|Read More Infos here|Here you can find 54274 additional Infos|Infos on that Topic: […]

    8. forex indicators · January 29, 2018

      … [Trackback]

      […] Read More here|Read More|Find More Infos here|Here you can find 89066 additional Infos|Informations on that Topic: […]

    9. Wholesale Jerseys Cheap · February 2, 2018

      Wholesale Jerseys Cheap

      Each of our products has specific functional qualities due the excellent make as per the industrial standards. Among the best things that they could do would be to change their lifestyle to a more relaxing a single. This makes it super easy for semen t…

    10. warehouse for sale · February 5, 2018

      … [Trackback]

      […] Find More on|Find More|Read More Infos here|Here you can find 15654 more Infos|Infos to that Topic: […]

    11. · February 5, 2018

      La mise en place ainsi votre portabilit茅 d’une chaussure authentique Gucci et aussi Prada se r茅v猫le 锚tre in茅gal茅e et a la facult茅 de facilement se pr茅senter comme d茅termin茅e avec un tantinet de activit茅 d’investigation.聽Propri茅t茅 fractionn茅e laquelle…

    12. · February 5, 2018

      To change into one, you first have to have the precise tools for the job. In the research study of the financial year of 2000/2001 by the ABS it was found that the total expenditure for sport and recreation activities was $2,124. In fact, 3D body scann…

    13. John Matuszak Jersey · February 5, 2018

      John Matuszak Jersey

      Next, to get most competitive profit margins you can create your own plug and play website to manage the product listing.Author Resource:-What is the best way to get the dishes done? Click here to know more about mini dishwasher.To change into one, you…

    14. Aaron Ramsey Jersey UK · February 5, 2018

      Aaron Ramsey Jersey UK

      It’s okay to do it your way. You’ll be glad you did. So remember you are a special person entrusted with a very special task. Fashion designing involves a lot of math, accuracy and artistic skill. It can be 100 or even a lac just depending on th…

    15. Rusney Castillo Jersey · February 5, 2018

      Rusney Castillo Jersey

      How much space you have in your apartmentThere are some dishwashers that have a built in microwave on the top. It might be smart to keep your head down and your mouth shut. The more that learn, the more there are to teach. I’ve read different tips via…

    16. · February 6, 2018

      The fact that the market is going to grow bigger in size is another piece of news that is not hidden from the world.Here at Two Wheels Motorcycle Training Wales, we offer swift- but not rushed – motorcycle training Wales and affordable- without comprom…

    17. · February 6, 2018

      Although this is a very important factor, a warning is given to models especially ladies that they must be very careful with such agencies because some of these are just there to consider advantage of the model and never to help them. That is some thin…

    18. Luciano Vietto Jersey · February 6, 2018

      Luciano Vietto Jersey

      Within just invest in in the direction of acknowledge card charges, on your own should really obtain an one of a kind net service provider account upon an reaching lender that will allow for your self toward price tag your buyers. National government f…

    19. Tim Williams Draft Jersey · February 6, 2018

      Tim Williams Draft Jersey

      When our children don’t have that measure of consistency and predictability in their lives it becomes difficult for them to gain the necessary trust either in themselves or in others to become self-confident.68% of app users download and actually use…

    20. · February 6, 2018

      Publications and newspapers contain them, and your self can lower or tear them out. The more that learn, the more there are to teach. It is actually the learning procedure so that issues can be done properly. Taking the time to find a firm that has a g…

    21. Brian McCann Jersey · February 6, 2018

      Brian McCann Jersey

      You may have come across instances when misleading statements and claims of services have been made by professional service providers. It may be free service for a couple of years, free installation etc. In no way obtain authorization, do…

    22. Cleveland Browns Carl Nassib Jersey · February 8, 2018

      Cleveland Browns Carl Nassib Jersey

      T. National government funding for the financial year of 2000/2001 was split primarily into four groups.Marketing is one of the essential elements of business today. Your main goal is actually to find these signs and learn to study them. One language t…

    23. Jason Motte Jersey · February 8, 2018

      Jason Motte Jersey

      Author Resource:-What is the best way to get the dishes done? Click here to know more about mini dishwasher. 61% of these mobile users will own a smartphone.theolympicspage. It has evolved into a science of its own. According to a study, it is expected…

    24. Aaron Ekblad Jersey · February 8, 2018

      Aaron Ekblad Jersey

      When you think about it three main components have to be in place: Trust and Predictability, competence, and sociability. There are no hassles of shipment and other traditional marketing methods, besides the business model can be more beneficial when y…

    25. Patrick Kerney Jersey · February 9, 2018

      Patrick Kerney Jersey

      The best part is that it is much cheaper and water efficient. 6.聽Propri茅t茅 fractionn茅e laquelle sait la technique 脿 un dilemme! Grace 脿 votre propri茅t茅 fractionn茅e, aus avantage ch猫re (jet, yacht, logement de cong茅, voiture classique) se r茅v猫le 锚tre la…

    26. Saphir Taider Jersey · February 9, 2018

      Saphir Taider Jersey

      If you happen to live in an apartment then you may not have the space needed to place a big wash program along with delay start.Article From Article Directory DatabaseWhatever you are selling getting your packaging right is vital.8 million. The quality…

    27. Clyde Drexler Jersey · February 9, 2018

      Clyde Drexler Jersey

      If by yourself are not able in direction of watch the Handle Recommended computer software, the click on upon Commence and navigate in direction of Function.Nowadays, fashion is one of the defining features of the popular culture. I prefer some sort of…

    28. Bill Laimbeer Jersey · February 9, 2018

      Bill Laimbeer Jersey

      Here’s one that took me a while to figure out. Another way of doing the work We learned by Todd Falcone. Notre soci茅t茅 au sein de gestion fournit votre stabilit茅 mais aussi l’organisation pour donner aux possesseurs d’actions en 茅vitant de effort ma…

    29. · February 10, 2018

      Legal firms can offer the expertise and consultation of a professional negligence lawyer if you approach them for the same. And hence restaurant owners and hoteliers pay special attention to their menu designing and appearance so that there is no glitc…

    30. best wedding planners in hyderabad · February 12, 2018

      … [Trackback]

      […] Find More here|Find More|Read More Informations here|Here you will find 77460 more Informations|Informations on that Topic: […]

    31. Customized Netherland Soccer Jersey · February 22, 2018

      Customized Netherland Soccer Jersey

      Find Out What Makes For Home Business SuccessFind Out What Makes For Home Business SuccessMarch 12, 2014 | Author: Suzette Maron | Posted in BusinessPeople often think that it is very difficult to start a business at home, but this does not have to be…