Reopening Of Cinema Halls Will Be A Big Relief To The Film Industry, Believes An Industry Player

Ashutosh Shah, a film director talks to Mumbai Live about the Hindi film industry, his successful web series, Hundred and the hotly debated topic, nepotism.

Reopening Of Cinema Halls Will Be A Big Relief To The Film Industry, Believes An Industry Player

Ashutosh Shah, at a young age, managed to break into the Hindi film industry. Since then, he has been able to take the industry by a storm, with his recent web series, Hundred, receiving acclaim. During his conversation with Mumbai Live, Shah explores what led to his foray into this field.

He says, “Since the second grade, I actively participated in the dramatics society of my school. I directed a school play at the age of seven, as time went by, I was propelled in the technical aspects of lighting and camera work. By the eighth grade, I was confident that I wanted to be an ad filmmaker. I vividly remember going home and doing imaginary shots with various miniature toy models, whilst everyone else had mainstream aspirations.” He adds, “Whilst studying mass media, I started making films with my friend. We made a documentary on Naxalites which travelled to many film festivals and received immense acclaim. Sudhir Mishra then offered us a job to work with him, this started my Bollywood journey.”

Throughout his tenure, Shah made himself indispensable in various positions such as an actor, producer, visual effects, second unit director, assistant director and director. Shah believes that working in these various avenues catapulted his skills in the filmmaking arena. Whilst elaborating on the learning experience, he mentions, “Film making has been very intuitive for me. It helped me to learn since the field is constantly evolving. As a director, I was able to understand the technical and creative aspects which have enabled me to grow.”

Further, into the conversation, he also elucidated that Mumbai has played a role in his directorial journey. Shah states, “Mumbai is where I was born and brought up, so it did help to be in the city which is the main base of Bollywood.”

Whilst broaching the subject of Bollywood, he also brought to light that he has received the opportunity to work with some of the industry’s most acclaimed stars like Shah Rukh Khan, Priyanka Chopra, Kareena Kapoor, Salman Khan, Hrithik Roshan, Farhan Akhtar, Irrfan Khan and Vidya Balan.

On being asked what it was like working with them, he elaborated, “I am thankful to have attained the opportunity to have worked with them. I was able to learn a great deal about them just by observing them. Hard work, passion, the ability to make complex tasks easy, humility, being a team player have been my key takeaways from them.”

Additionally, he’s also one of the directors at R.A.T Films, a production house between Ruchi Narain, Taher Shabbir and him. The three of them came together as filmmakers to provide a platform for new talented filmmakers. They are the first production house to come up with Remote Post Production Solution for their show, Hundred.

Considering the huge success of his web series Hundred and with the viewers feedback, Shah says that for season 2, they are currently ideating and if something clicks with them and the Hotstar team they are sure to make season 2. On being asked if there are any other projects he is working on currently, Shah exclaims, “There is a lot which is happening at R.A.T Films. We are currently developing two features and a web series, talks are on for an international project too.”

With his previous success and the government’s decision to open cinema halls from October 22, Shah is confident about the year ahead. He is of the opinion that the reopening of cinema halls will be a big relief to the film industry who’s going to capitalize on this moment.

Speaking about the industry and one of its hotly debated topics, nepotism, he elaborates his stance, “I come from zero-film family background and like me, many other actors, directors and technicians have made a mark on their own. The only way anyone can excel in this field is with determination and talent, today with OTT platforms, there are a plethora of opportunities for all.”

Lastly, he also shared his two cents to anyone looking to break it into this highly competitive industry, “Firstly, believe in yourself and keep practising. Grab an opportunity and be true to yourself, things will fall into place.” 

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