Q. You are a musician, director and a producer. What is your favorite amongst the three?
Q. Tell us about your background? How did you become a director?
I have a background in computer sciences through my Bachelors and then I did my post graduation in film and media production in the United States from the New York Film Academy. I have been engaged in my creative side from my childhood, starting off as a percussionist since a very young age. With advertisement and socio-political experience at my disposal, I began to explore documentary filmmaking as well as working on commercial ad-films. This gave rise to an active involvement in production of music videos which finally led to me finishing my graduation as a Master of Arts in Film and Media Production from New York Film Academy, Los Angeles.
Q. What is your favorite thing about working on your own creative projects?
What one needs as a director is not only the ability to have visual creativity and vision, but also an understanding of all the aspects of filmmaking, that includes financial, logistics, HR, as well as the most important psychological side: working with actors.
Making a film is basically for me as “trying to imitate reality” and for that, there has to be a profound understanding of the real world, because that is what will reflect in your work. Whenever I am doing my own projects, the research that goes into its character and social parameters is something that appeals to me the most.
Q. What is it like to be Indian in today’s times?
With modern technology, the world is getting closer together than ever before. This stands true for films as well. The boundaries are blurring and cinema is getting international. In this scenario, being an Indian gives me an edge, especially in Hollywood, as I bring with me a different culture and perspective that the industry is looking for. With the age of internet and communication, I believe that entertainment industry has become more global and internationally connected. The boundaries between Hollywood and Indian cinema have thinned. In spite of that, I believe that Hollywood is not just about English/American cinema. It is an international industry with a market and reach all over the world, including India, and this is the reason I chose to give it a try here in Los Angeles.
Q. You have done TV serials and music videos. Tell us more.
Here are the details of a few of my projects:
Q Easter Shores of the Western World - Episode 1
This documentary has been produced by me in association with the International Centre for Cultural Studies, USA and it is about the pagan communities in Baltic and Balkan countries. This is a very deep subject and something that will highlight the spread of Indo-European culture throughout Eurasia..
Q. The Head of the Mouse - Pilot episode
Best Picture, Best Cinematography and Best supporting Actor at Los Angeles Independent Film Festival.
An epic fiction drama set in a fictional Latin American country. A story of two brother and succession of the head of the ruling Vallorca family set in a political backdrop of Sacristan, a Latin American country off the coast of Venezuela.
I am one of the few Indian directors to have made films in Spanish and Portuguese.
Presently in talks with Amazon and Hulu.
Q. Katra Katra - Music Video
This is a music video that I directed for an India singer Gaurav Bhatt. It is now running successfully in MTV India with great TRP ratings.
Q. Red House by the Crossroads (2015)
Part of the Cannes Film Festival - 2015
Best Short - Los Angeles Independent Film Festival
Honorary Screening - International Festival of Culture, Colombia.
Q. Last Will:
Part of the Cannes Film Festival - 2016
Best Film (Jury Award) - DIY Film Festival 2016
Q. In Post-Production:
• Currently in post-production is the short film “When Red is White” which I directed in February 2016. Well known Brazilian actress Thaila Ayala plays the lead in this love story of a visually impaired couple. The film has been made in collaboration with NGOs working for the visually impaired and has already received extensive media coverage.
Q. What’s your fuel as a director? What gets you going and what keeps you inspired?
I wish I can make something in India that can contribute to the society building of the country and appeal to the intellect of the masses, have a largely positive impact in the end. Films do not have to be only about entertainment. They can at the same time be enlightening in many ways, depending on the perception. As a student of media studies, I know that it has a huge impact in shaping the psyche of a society, in a good or a bad way. I wish I can contribute to it in a positive way that can help us grow as a country.
Q. Is there any movie in the past from any other director that you wish you had directed?
That’s a tough one. All the movies I like are from such great people that filling in their shoes would be near impossible. But I would still like to name one:
‘2001: Space Odyssey’, a film by Stanley Kubrick, is something that I would like to make again in my own way and pay tribute to the great director.
Q. How is life different in Los Angeles as compared to India?
Other than the social differences that are there in India and United States, I believe that the film industry is pretty much same. The only difference is the taste of films.
Q. What’s next for you?
Next year, I am producing and directing the second season of my documentary “Eastern Shores of the Western World” in collaboration with First India News from India. It will be set in California and South Dakota and will be a mini series about the Mojave and the Sioux Native American tribes. As it is a wide and complex subject, I am currently engaged in research and development of the script and subject matter.