Ishrat started his innings assisting renowned director like Anees Bazmee with whom he graduated from 1st Ad to the associate director in a span of time. Some of the movies that he assisted Anees includes Welcome Back, Thank You, No Problem, Welcome, Sandwich, No Entry and Deewangee. Later he went on to associate with Raaj Shaandilyaa for Dream Girl, Prerna Wadhawan for Ishqeria and Amberdeep Singh for Lahoriye.
However it’s quite unnatural of someone to venture into such a hard hitting domain about the state of education and the caste system in rural India in today's age when he has majorly been involved with comedies. Normally anyone would have preferred doing something that they have mastered in, but Ishrat not only chose to be different but also preferred dealing in a subject that was not the mainstream language - Hindi. Ishrat says, “I understand that’s how anyone would have done it. However, I wanted my debut to stand out on the marquee. We are premiering it at KIFF and plans are afoot to take it to Cannes and other major festivals across the globe including NYIFF, Toronto, London and others.”
With over 20 years of experience in Bollywood, Ishrat Khan is considered one of the most efficient film makers of this era. His attention to detail, thorough pre-production & clear vision sets him apart, which can be seen in Guthlee. With a simple to seem storyline, the film is multi-layered. It’s about Guthlee, the son of a poor sweeper, has a dream - to go to school. But the major obstacle is his caste. A headmaster is sympathetic to him but powerless against caste discrimination. When they develop an unspoken bond, Guthlee's dream sees hope.
Speaking about the film, Ishrat says, “Guthlee is a film that speaks volumes about the state of education and the caste system in rural India in today's age. Of course there have been massive improvements in this respect by the government, but still there are untold stories that highlight the plight of the lower caste people and their inability to get education for their children. This film is an attempt to bring this matter to the forefront. It's a story of a small boy, son of a low caste sweeper, who wants to go to school. The film has been treated realistically, so as to make the viewer’s feel the rustic reality of a north Indian village. The film does not try to portray any of the higher caste people in a negative light, it's not an attempt to antagonize, but rather to make people think about the fact that something that is so easy for us to provide to our children - a school education - can remain an unfulfilled dream for so many deserving children just because they belong to low castes.”
Produced by Pradeep Rangwani under the banner of UV Films, Guthlee Ladoo features an ensemble cast that includes Sanjay Mishra, Subrat Dutta, Kalyanee Mulay and Dhanay Seth in the titular role. The film has been shot by Anil Akki and edited by Steven H. Bernard. Amar Mohile has provided the background score for the movie.