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The reluctant filmmaker

Mumbai-born producer Shrihari Sathe dons the director's hat for the first time with the Marathi film, Ek Hazarachi Note. the guide caught up with the debutant director about the film and his journey as a producer

Q. What's the film Ek Hazarachi Note about?
A. Ek Hazarachi Note is a dark comedy, on how society overpowers common people. It's about an old woman, who lives life happily but one incident changes everything in her life. My film is not a typical Marathi movie or (made) only for (the typical) Marathi audience. It's concept can be understood by all.

Filmmaker Shrihari Sathe during the shooting of the film
Filmmaker Shrihari Sathe during the shooting of the film 

Q. You have produced several short films and feature films, and now you are making your debut as a director. What do you enjoy the most — production or direction? Please tell us a little about the films you have produced so far?
A. I feel it (direction) is an extension of the work that I have done till now. I started with production and I enjoy it also. I have produced Eliza Hittman's It Felt like Love, which made its world premiere at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival (USA), and was also screened at the International Film Festival Rotterdam (Netherlands) to great reviews. This film is set for release in the US next month. Before that I produced Pervertigo, another American Indie feature film, for writer-director Jaron Henrie-McCrea, which was shown at the Warsaw and Mumbai film festivals in 2012.

Q. Which of the two — direction and production — are more difficult?
A. One has to struggle in the beginning in any field; one must be ready to study from everywhere he/she gets a chance.

Q. Most of your films have been shown in film festivals. What do you think of them?
A. They are good, and offer a good exposure to a newcomer. A lot of movies get recognition in festivals and so do the people who made it and participated in it. I will do any film if the story is good, for me story is more important.

A still from the film, Ek Hazarachi Note
A still from the film, Ek Hazarachi Note 

Q. You also produced a lot of short films…how difficult is it to find the audience for a short film?
A. It is difficult to get a good platform for short films. There has been a lack of awareness about these films, but now the exposure is increasing and I hope that the short films also get a good stand in this country soon.

Q. Do you have any tips for newcomers in the film industry, and inspiring filmmakers in the city?
A. Try different jobs in the film industry. Don't be shy to do any job. Keep trying but if you fail for more than three-four years and feel that this is not for you, then leave this field and change your career.

More about Sathe

Shrihari Sathe has an MFA in Film from Columbia University's School of the Arts in New York. Sathe achieved fame in the US and a number of other countries for his critically applauded productions — It Felt like Love and Pervertigo. In 2009, Sathe received the Entertainment Partners' Best Producer Award at the Columbia University Film Festival for his MFA thesis short film — Breaking the Chain.

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