afaqs! news bureau

Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari bids adieu to Leo Burnett

Tiwari, who wants to pursue film direction, will join Opticus Inc.

Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari, executive creative director, Leo Burnett, has decided to move on. Confirming the news, Tiwari, who has been with the agency since 2005 (her second stint at the agency), tells afaqs! that she wants to get into film direction and will join Opticus Inc.

Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari bids adieu to Leo Burnett
Having worked on many award winning campaigns at the agency, Tiwari reveals that the thought of pursuing film direction had been brewing in her mind for at least a year. "I have been interested in filmmaking for a very long time. I thought it was better to take a chance, be fearless and do it now. Although I have worked with Leo Burnett half my life and done loads of work that have received recognition, I thought I should venture into film direction now," she says. She adds that K V Sridhar (aka Pops), chief creative officer, India sub continent, Leo Burnett, has been very supportive about her move.

What gave Tiwari the encouragement was the short film she directed last year, which received a very good response. The short film went on to win an award for the Best Director in the Online Film category and a special mention for direction in the national Dadasaheb Phalke award. Titled 'What's for breakfast', the story was written by her husband Niteesh Tiwari, chief creative officer, Leo Burnett India. The film was produced by Opticus Inc. Besides this, Tiwari's directorial work in another short film for a news channel was also appreciated.

In fact, working on Sony's campaigns for the last seven years gave her much better understanding of storytelling, filming and direction and, in turn, gave her confidence in her abilities. "I also owe a lot to Gajraj Rao (Code Red Films) and Chrome Pictures' Amit Sharma and Hemant Bhandari. I have worked with them on many campaigns and, in the process, have learnt a lot from them. They have been extremely helpful and nice," Tiwari states.

Tiwari began her career in advertising as a trainee at Leo Burnett in 2001. She left the agency to join McCann Erickson in 2004. However, she returned to Leo Burnett a year later. During her 12-year stint at the agency, Tiwari worked on brands such as Whisper, Tide, Complan, ICICI, IDBI, Sony, P&G's Wella, Emami Navratna oil and Sony Pix, among others. Her works have won national as well as international awards including silver and bronze metals at Cannes Lion.