Digit Magazine, July 2010 Issue: Filmmaking Interview
What motivates you to make films?
I have always enjoyed telling interesting stories to friends and family. Films are a great medium for this purpose because firstly, they allow me to "show" these stories visually rather than simply telling them, and secondly, they greatly enhance the reach of my stories, by providing a potentially limitless audience across the globe. I also love films because it is a collective medium - we make these films as a collective effort, and the audience usually enjoys them along with others as well.
Why do you want to give away your work for free?
The market for short films in India is currently at an infant stage. In some other countries, people have started to enjoy short films by themselves, and are even ready to pay for them. But here, it would take us a while to reach that level. So, giving out our work for free is the best alternative for filmmakers like myself, in order to get our work in front of a larger audience.
In which film festivals have you showcased your movies?
My first film to be shown at a festival was "Where there is a Will", at the Market Section of the IFFI 2009 Short Film Center. Following that, "Where there is a Will" and "Run Leila Run" were shown at the Kolkata Short Film Festival 2009 and the Annual National Short and Documentary Film Festival 2010. Another great opportunity arrived for me when "Run Leila Run" was selected for the Indian Film Festival 2010, and was shown in Melbourne and Sydney as part of their Bollywood and Beyond section. The film was also shown last month at the International Documentary and Short Film Festival of Kerala 2010.
Have you received any awards for your movies?
Well, none yet! But along with the official selections listed above, one of my co-directed films "PiP (Picture in Picture)" was selected as the Top-10 Entry in Dibakar Banerjee's Love Sex aur Dhoka (LSD) Short Film Contest.
Is film making just your hobby?
Absolutely not! It is a full-time career option for me now. I am currently working as the Associate Director for a feature film to be shot in Delhi later this year. At the same time, I am continuing work on my own short films and other creative projects.
Any plans to go commercial or enter main stream cinema?
You bet! I am currently working on a couple of scripts which I plan to realize into feature films in the near future - a social drama and a dark comedy.
Name few of your favorite movies and genres?
Besides a ton of Bollywood flicks (too many to list here), here are my all-time favorite Hollywood films: Casablanca, The Dark Knight, The Godfather, Star Wars, and The Usual Suspects. But my favorite genre is definitely Comedy - it is much harder to make comedies than most people may think, because you need to get the chemistry just right in order to tickle the audience's funny bones!
Since when have you been a Digit reader?
Well, almost a decade now (okay, I realize that you guys just came out with your 9th anniversary issue, but it does feel like a full decade!). However, I've been a regular reader only for the last 3 years since I moved back from the US. Before that, I would pick up the latest issues whenever I would be visiting India.
What is your favorite section in the magazine?
Now that's a tough one! I believe that Digit really connects with me as a whole - 3 months ago I was looking to upgrade my system for editing purposes, and the same month (March 2010), Digit came to my rescue with a Fast Trac to Mac OS, and an article on latest LCD monitors. As a result, I now have a Mac mini system with a BenQ 22" HD LCD Monitor! But if I have to list one thing, it is the DVD's, which serve as an invaluable resource for months to come.
Your advice to budding directors?
Never Sit Idle! Always keep on working on something - weather it is writing new scripts or shooting short films. And since digital film making is changing the whole ballgame now, also keep yourself updated about the latest shooting and editing technologies. It is also a good idea to learn the skill sets of all the collaborative fields involved in making films - as an example, you may be looking to become a writer or a director, but it really helps to learn about cinematography, sound and editing too!
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