A leading daily today carried a news report, wherein it was mentioned incorrectly that director Ayan Mukerji, who had helmed the recent hit Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani, was a protege of filmmaker Karan Johar, not mentioning the fact that he assisted Ashutosh Gowariker.
For those who do not know this, Mukerji started his career as an assistant to Ashutosh Gowariker on the 2004 masterpiece Swades, which had starred Shah Rukh Khan. Not only this, other filmmakers like Kiran Rao (Dhobi Ghat), Reema Kagti (Talaash), Karan Malhotra (Agneepath), Abhishek Varman (2 States) and Apoorva Lakhia (Shootout At Lokhandwala, Zanjeer) also started their careers as assistants to Gowariker. Interestingly, Kagti's Talaash and Rao's Dhobi Ghat have been critically acclaimed whereas Karan Malhotra's Agneepath and Mukerji's Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani have surpassed the Rs. 100 crore mark at the box office. Karan Malhotra, (who also assisted on Swades) and Abhishek Varman had both assisted Gowariker on the historical magnum opus Jodhaa Akbar, whereas Reema Kagti, Apoorva Lakhia and Kiran Rao had assisted Gowariker on Lagaan, both films historical blockbusters that had the distinction of being critically acclaimed as well. Kiran Rao also assisted Gowariker on Swades.
It is little known that other famous proteges like the now established and recognized director Sanjay Leela Bhansali, had started his career as Vidhu Vinod Chopra's assistant, and the commercial cinema king Karan Johar had worked as an assistant to Aditya Chopra on the blockbuster hit Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge. Acclaimed director Sudhir Mishra, known for making acclaimed films like Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi and Inkaar, learned the tricks of the trade from Kundan Shah when he assisted him on Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro. Zoya Akhtar assisted her brother Farhan Akhtar on Dil Chahta Hai and Lakshya, whereas Farhan himself worked as an apprentice in cinematography and direction for Yash Chopra's Lamhe.
Susi Ganesh, who made his Bollywood directorial debut with Shortcut Romeo assisted Mani Ratnam and so did Shaad Ali, who made Saathiya and Bunty Aur Babli after having assisted Ratnam on films such as Dil Se, Guru and Raavan. National Award winning director Rajkumar Hirani worked an editor for Vidhu Vinod Chopra on Mission Kashmir.
Needless to say, film enthusiasts are miffed with the daily for indulging in what they call irresponsible journalism and factual research weakness.