Pushpendra Misra, director-producer at Flying Saucer, an advertising and film production company, is known for his unique brand of humour and innovative ideas. But Lucknow-born Misra often felt that Mumbai was shortchanging creative ideas in exchange for all things commercial.
“Mumbai is a commercial city; success and money are valued over the rest. So, while commercially successful movies and music grab the spotlight, few are aware about artistes beyond the mainstream who are also doing great work,” rues Misra.
His visit to UK’s Brick Lane impacted him, tremendously: “There were nearly 10 art exhibitions being held in garages.” Such examples inspired Misra to kickstart Antimatter, a non-profit forum for creative souls: “It’s like an underground movement in the creative field or a counter-culture event beyond what is popular, to ensure a balanced creative conversation that will enlighten the audience.”
Antimatter sessions are held on a Saturday every two months at Bandra’s Bonobo, and has so far featured Pakistani duo Zeb and Haniya, director Navdeep Singh, musician Nageen Tanvir and theatre personality Moloyshree Hashmi.
“Laced with anecdotes, there are performances by participating artistes as well. Every event is free of charge and anyone can drop in,” said Pooja Krishnamoorthy, executive producer, Flying Saucer.
“We prefer to foster thought and show the method in the artistes’ madness,” explains Misra. The name Antimatter is a reference to the scientific concept — when matter meets antimatter, there is nothing left except a burst of pure energy. “Similarly, when ideas converge and collide after brainstorming, it leads to different perspectives.”
Misra adds that six talks will be held in a year with two speakers for each session. These will be announced on Facebook, recorded and posted on YouTube for a wider section of audience to access.