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Friday, January 22, 2021

Interview: ‘Delhi Crime’ producer Apoorva Bakshi opens up on winning Emmy Award

Very recently, the Netflix show bagged the best drama series honour at the International Emmy Awards, which is a huge honour for the country.

On a cold December night in 2012, a woman and her male friend boarded a bus back home at night in Delhi, after spending the evening watching a movie  at a theatre. Little did they know that the bus was being driven by joyriders — a group of men who were about to commit one of the most heinous crimes ever committed in history.

The young paramedic student was gang-raped and brutally assaulted inside the moving bus. The male friend accompanying her was assaulted too. While he recovered, the woman succumbed to her injuries, days after the assault.

The gruesome nature of the crime shook the collective conscience of the nation. Streets of Delhi as well as other cities saw thousands of protestors demanding justice.

It was not easy for the Delhi Police to deal with the mounting pressure. An exceptionally hard working, diligent team of the Delhi Police ended up nabbing the perpetrators within five days, leaving no scope for people to question their conduct.

Apoorva Bakshi’s Delhi Crime

While various shows and documentaries made on the incident focused on the gruesome crime, Richie Mehta’s Delhi Crime, a hard-hitting seven-part Netflix web-series released in 2019, followed the Delhi Police’s investigation into the Nirbhaya case.

Very recently, the Netflix show bagged the best drama series honour at the International Emmy Awards, which is a huge honour for the country. A series like no other, Delhi Crime throws light on the hard work and will power of the Delhi Police team that nabbed the perpetrators.

Following the huge win, Platocast spoke to Delhi Crime producer Apoorva Bakshi on how she put together the brilliant web-series.

Apoorva is Managing Partner at Golden Karavan. Golden Karavan is the Asian focused television mini major, a partnership between Jeff Sagansky, Florence Sloan of Golden Eagle, Aaron Kaplan of Kapital Entertainment and Apoorva Bakshi, Pooja Kohli & Sanjay Bachani of FilmKaravan Originals.

How does it feel to have won the Emmy?

The feeling is indescribable. It’s amazing. The award would not have been possible without the hard work of a very diligent team of talented individuals. It took us months of immense hard work to put together a show that was so widely appreciated. It’s an amazing feeling.

What inspired you to take on this particular venture?

I remember Richie (Delhi Crime Director Richie Mehta) coming up literally with essays on how to put the show together. As a producer, I was amazed at the idea. When the Nirbhaya incident took place in 2012, the entire country was enraged. People were infuriated as they thought the Delhi Police did not do enough to protect the girl. When we interacted with the police team that was involved in the investigation, we realised how easy it was to criticize but how hard for the police to handle the pressure.

The team was led by Chhaya Sharma. She is an incredible human being. When I spoke to her and the rest of the team, I knew I had to be part of the venture that tells this story.

Interview: 'Delhi Crime' producer Apoorva Bakshi opens up on winning Emmy Award
Chhaya Sharma and Apoorva Bakshi

The show deals very well with the intricacies of the investigation. Why did you choose to focus on the investigation while most other documentaries on this incident focus on the crime?

This was a conscious decision. We all know what happened inside the bus on the fateful night. We know the gruesome details of the crime, and we believed there was no need to focus on that again. We did not want to relive that kind of darkness.

The focus of the story, like I said previously, was to bring to the fore the grit, determination and perseverance of the unsung heroes of the Delhi Police team.

Do you think it is important for people like directors and producers to use their voice to side with moments of injustice?

It is important of anyone who’s in a privileged position to tell stories, to use their voice to create awareness. When we as directors and producers use the media space as a medium of telling stories, they reach the masses. It inspires people to talk and create dialogue. It creates awareness, which is of utmost importance.

Do you have any tips for aspiring producers?

A producer is the constructor of the orchestra, and anyone who wishes to produce needs to keep three words in mind — development, development and development. A producer should be financially responsible, should take care of the crew and keep their spirits high. He or she should be strong and must understand that the focus should not only be on commercialisation and must ensure that there’s motivation.

A producer has to be passionate and must remember that strong, compelling stories travel the most. 

In my journey, I was fortunate to have been mentored by some fantastic human beings. It is important for aspiring producers to follow other producers and learn from them. It is very important to follow the works of other successful producers. 

Keep your eyes and ears open, build a tribe of people who believe in you and build a good network. Be focused on your goal and you’ll be there.

Platocast congratulates Apoorva Bakshi and the team of Delhi Crime for winning the prestigious award. 

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