Sanjeev Kywadekar, thank you very much for this VIP interview.

If you don’t mind, let’s get straight down to business. Congratulations on this fascinating description of a murder investigation from the inside of an interrogation room. We’re reminded of Twelve Angry Men, Sydney Lumet’s 1957 closed-door courtroom drama starring Henry Fonda. Is it fair to say that you’re following in Agatha Christie’s footsteps in the 21st century? What murder stories and playwrights do you draw inspiration from?

At school, I loved reading detective novels – Erle Stanley Gardner, Agatha Christie, Sherlock Holmes, to name but a few. These stories inspired me from the start.

I started writing murder mystery stories a few years ago, then went on to write screenplays for theater and finally for film.

You’re absolutely right about the decor. I wanted to shoot this film in a single room to keep the budget under control, so I thought of “12 Angry Men” and tried to create a similar set for this film.

Can you tell us how and why the crime and suspense genre became your favorite cinematic genre, both as an actor and as a director?

As I’ve already mentioned, reading detective novels was my favorite pastime during school days. I also enjoyed solving logic puzzles.

What’s more, I’ve had basic training in engineering. I think building murder mystery plots is similar to designing an engineering project, where you have to think of all the possibilities and cover all the weak points, which comes naturally to me.

You said that Woh Raat was the first in a series of thrillers to be released over the next few years. Could you tell us more about your project in this respect?

I’m planning a sequel to Woh Raat, to be called Woh Din (That day).

It will be a courtroom drama in which the real murderer will be revealed.

In addition, I’m also working on an online series that will describe the mysterious events in the lives of each Woh Raat character.

In Django Unchained, one of the lines is “You aroused my curiosity. Now you have my attention. How do you design the dialogue to hold the audience’s attention right up to the climax? Do you use secondary characters? What does it matter that the police officer conducting the interrogation is a woman?

Instead of having a secondary character, I keep the audience guessing, suggesting that each character has a motive and could have committed the crime.

In the film, the potential suspect in the audience’s mind is constantly changing as the story unfolds.

It was very important that the interrogation was carried out by a woman in the police force, for two reasons. In India, women are rising through the ranks and occupying high-level positions in many sectors, including crime, and I wanted to show this trend. What’s more, women are naturally more apt to put suspects at ease so that they’ll open up and start revealing their secrets.

About her novel The Lovely Bones, Alice Sebold said, “Murderers aren’t monsters, they’re men. And that’s what’s most frightening. What does this sentence inspire in you?

I agree with this statement. In Who Raat, all the characters are professionals and family men, they really loved their master. However, they lost their heads due to some of Shetji’s evil deeds and unfortunate circumstances. In fact, Shetji was the monster in this case, not the murderer.

India is a vast country. Are there any differences between the south and the north? Do you see any major differences between European cinema and that of the Asian subcontinent?

India is a vast country with many languages, diets and cultures. There are major differences between the south and the north – in terms of language, cuisine and even fashion. The north has been exposed to foreign influence from the Middle East and Europe in the past, while the south has remained more isolated from outside influence.

This is very obvious when you compare North Indian films with those from the South. Things have changed over the last ten years thanks to the Internet and globalization. But if you look at South Indian films, they’re more melodramatic and fantasy-oriented, whereas North Indian films are more based on the facts of everyday life.

Unlike European cinema, music and dance are an integral part of Indian cinema. A film can belong to any genre, but it won’t be complete without a few song and dance sequences. In India, music albums and videos of every kind are released before the films themselves, and play a major role in the success of the latter.

Do you have any current projects as an actor or director that you’d like to share?

I’m working on a feature film called “Nature” in the LGBTQ + mystery category.

Do you have any upcoming projects to share?

I have two other films that I finished around the same time as Call of the Void. One is called ABACUS and the other THEY ARE WATCHING. I’m currently looking for a distributor for these films. I have three other films in the pipeline and hope to shoot them this year.

What is your vision of post-covid cinema? Do you foresee any major changes?

During the COVID pandemic, many people became accustomed to working remotely, giving them more free time and increasing demand for quality online media content. Even if pandemic-related restrictions have disappeared, most people still work from home and demand quality media content that they can watch in the comfort of their own homes.

As a result, films produced by Netflix and other OTT platforms have been nominated and awarded at major film industry events such as the Oscars. I think this trend will continue, and the demand for quality online media content will increase considerably over the next few years, compared with theatrical releases.


Sanjeev Kuwadekar

Storyteller, screenwriter, director, producer.

Sanjeev Kuwadekar is a serial entrepreneur in the field of technology.

He holds a degree in electrical engineering and a master’s in computer science.

Sanjeev has been recognized as an entrepreneur in the tech sector. following several successful technology start-ups.

But his real passion lies elsewhere: theater and cinema. He has written, directed and acted in over 20 shows and films over the past ten years.

Sanjeev created a non-profit association called Los Angeles Film, Theatre and Arts (LAFTA) to benefit the local Los Angeles community. He has starred in many award-winning films such as Kumpan, Snakes and Ladder and Passing the Parcel, and produced the award-winning Ekaant. Woh Raat (That Night) is Sanjeev’s first film as writer and director. It has won over 26 awards at film festivals around the world, and was nominated for Best Mystery Film at the World Film Festival in Cannes.

ITV 2023 Isabelle Rouault-Röhlich

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