Some people live lives that are no lesser than a movie itself. The struggle that they go through to pave the road to success is real, the pain that they endure to flourish in their art is real, but most importantly, the life they live so that the same life can someday lead many like them is what makes them real even when it feels like a fiction.

Meet Akshay Yagnik, director and writer of ‘Safalta 0 km’. The movie which in itself is the story of his life; the paths he’s crossed and the struggles that he has fought. ‘Safalta’ is his debut film as a director and a screenplay writer in Gujarati Cinema

His journey started as a junior artist in varied plays in theatre but dance choreography is what made him who he is today.

He might be one among the thousands, who came to Mumbai with empty pockets and a heart full of dreams but he was also one of the few who stayed, who believed in his dream enough to stick around and not give up. “Mumbai is the city of dreams and aspirations, if you stand for a while in that pulsing crowd it’ll keep pushing at you until you break down; but if you start pushing back, this city will embrace you with open heart. I was among the few who pushed back.” said Mr Akshay Yagnik in a candid interview with Aniradichita.

A series of unfortunate events is what lead him to depression, as if this wasn’t enough life decided to throw another hurdle his way; first his right leg got paralysed and later while he was doing a show for Sony Entertainment called ‘Entertainment ke liye kuchh bhi karega’ where he used to perform fire acts in a fatal accident he burnt 3 layers of his facial skin.

His life from the college rockstar of Narmada college, Bharuch, had turned upside down as soon as he decided to take his dancing and acting career to the doors of Mumbai. The man who used to be known all around his hometown was now just a pedestrian on the street of Mumbai, even after all this Mr Yagnik never lost hope and with that same hope and the sprit to fight back, he managed to make a name for himself.

They say time is the only constant and it’s time that always keep changing. The same is true for Mr Akshay Yagnik too, he became a finalist in a dance reality show judged by none other than Saroj Khan called ‘Jhoome naache gaayen’ In 2009, later he did a Marathi film called ‘Tuji ani Mazi’ which was a love story and a movie called ‘ My friend’s Dulhaniya’ . With his first album ‘Chule Asmaan’ in 2011 he did his first independent choreography. The music for the album was given by Shaan.

Sanjeev Mehta was the one who gave Akshay Yagnik his first big break in a Shubahs Ghai movie called ‘Kanchi’. He then choreographed for Shahid Malia in the prestigious ‘Baba Saheb Phalke Awards’. He later did theatres and different serial on Starplus like ‘Suhani si ek ladki’ and worked as a choreographer in ‘Yeh Rishta kya kehlata hai’. He was also a choreographer for Vikram Shankar; the chief AD of Vikram Bhatt, in his movie ‘Jab tum Kaho’ where he choregraphed a song sung by Mohit Chauhan.

According to him there is nothing like struggle, it’s just a process through which one goes in order to reach where he wants to. Mr Akshay Yagnik’s biggest inspiration and support system all through his life has been his father Shri Ashok Yagnik, who has supported him through thick and thin.  While he calls his dad his inspiration, he calls his mom Srmt. Rekha Yagnik his unyielding strength, other than his parents he considers Prabhu Deva and Remo D’Souza his idols and also one of the reasons why he thought of becoming a director.

“Dance is my passion but direction is in my blood. I just couldn’t help myself from taking up a project like Safalta as a director” said Mr Akshay Yagnik while talking about his upcoming Gujarati film ‘Safalta 0 km’.

‘Safalta 0 km’ is also the debut of Dharmesh Yellande AKA Dharmesh Sir (Street Dancer, Dance India Dance, ABCD, ABCD2, Dance Plus) in Gujarati film industry. This movie is a power pack entertainer which for the first time would bring in Bollywood flavours to Gujarati cinema. It is an inspirational and aspirational movie with a flashback narrative and it assures the audience a rollercoaster ride with its evolving narratives and competent transformations.

Here is what TOI has to talk about the upcoming Gujarati Feature Film, ‘Safalta 0 km’: