Akriti Singh’s Toofan Mail to be released soon
The film is based on a real incident from the 1970s, where a woman arrived at the New Delhi railway station claiming to be the Queen of Awadh
Actor Akriti Singh, who has appeared in films like Bank Chor, Kamyaab, and Photograph, is making her directorial debut with a Hindi feature film titled Toofan Mail. Based on a real incident from the 1970s, the independent production will be released on an OTT platform.
Talking about her first directorial venture, Akriti says, “I was intrigued by a true incident from the 1970s, where a woman arrived at the New Delhi railway station claiming to be the Queen of Awadh, seeking to meet Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and demanding to be allotted a palace to live in. This is a real story and has been covered by various newspapers and TV channels during that time. My film is a fictional take on this true event.”
Toofan Mail has been made using minimum resources, though it boasts various technical innovations. “Since we needed a railway station from 1974 and making the sets would prove very costly, we found a railway station that does not have digital display screens,” the director shares. “The camera angles and lenses have been chosen wisely to tell the story, but not reveal 2020 in the frames. Also, it is a story of/about Awadh and we shot it in Awadh — all the properties used in the film are authentic Nawab artifacts borrowed from the heirs of Nawabs from in and around Lucknow. One of them also acts in the film.”
She adds that despite the limited budget, there is no inauthenticity in any artifact or property — ranging from the colour and print of the currency in 1974 to big collared shirts and bell-bottom pants worn by many.
The cast of the movie comprises Akriti and Telugu actor Surya Rao, who makes his Hindi film debut with this project. “Everyone took up multiple tasks while making the film. I am the writer, director, editor, actor and producer of Toofan Mail. The cinematographer is also the co-writer. All the actors doubled up as EPs and assistants director and sometimes even as spot boys,” she adds.