Q. Tell us about your short film; how did you get the idea to make it.
A. It began as an experiment. A writer friend and I were working on a feature length screenplay. It was in an apartment where we would sit to write. At noon, the room would be aglow with a warm light and it was inspiring. The short film began as a mood piece, something about relationships and the mood around noon. My friend Vaibhav Abnave wrote the story. I did not have money to make it. I had friends in the UK and crowd-funded it. The crew members are friends. The shooting took place in March 2013. It was shot in two days. Shooting was limited to certain hours of the day as we needed a specific kind of lighting.
A poster of the short film
Q. Was there a particular reason why you sent the film to the festival in Kerala?
A. Out of five festivals, it got selected for three. The festival in Kerala is a great platform for a serious film and is divided into two levels; it receives a good cross-section of people and has an interesting jury.
A still from the short film, Afternoon
Q. Is this your first attempt at filmmaking?
A. I had made a one-hour documentary on the Ganesh festival, which was a commissioned one. My short films made the rounds of festivals; one film was on farmer suicides. I am not a full-time filmmaker. I work as a teaching faculty and I am working on adapting Amitav Ghosh’s book. I am not into mainstream filmmaking.
Q. Has the city had an effect on your filmmaking?
A. I am rooted in this city, its spaces and nooks and corners. Afternoon is set in the city. I used to run an organisation called Tekdi Pune. I grew up around institutes like NFAI, FTII and so on. That’s how I got access to film festivals and places of cinema. Punekars might be able to see it on a Vimeo account. Right now, it is password protected. Since it is going to film festivals, they would like to keep it exclusive. As soon as it gets off the festival circuits, it will be available for all.
Q. How do you see the short film and documentary scene in our country?
A. It is vibrant. If you go abroad, it is difficult for such films to go off ground. Here, all can go for it as long as you have an SLR and you can write a script. But the bad thing is that it is not conducive to quality work. One needs to spend time to develop the script, direction and post-production.
Q. What are you working on at the moment?
A. I will be making a music video for an organisation. I am planning to make another short film. I am also busy teaching and am a visiting faculty at Symbiosis.