“I have faith in myself and want to scrap out the false belief that ‘MUMBAI IS THE PLACE'” – Siddharth Chauhan
Meet Siddharth Chauhan, a 26 years old independent filmmaker from Shimla, Himachal Pradesh has already made his mark in India and globally. He is the recipient of Golden Halo Award and Youth Achiever Award. His bold and engaging stories provide a creative insight into the sentient and imperative issues deserve an applaud.
His movies have attained admiration from few producers and directors of Bollywood. His latest short-length movie The Infinite Space has been selected by University of Manchester for their Insight Curation Scheme. According to Siddharth, his third movie, Boys don’t wear nail polish, has been the most inspiring and influential that gave him the confidence to keep experimenting. The movie not only won him the ‘Gold Halo Award’ but was also screened at several International Film Festivals. His achievements inspire dreamers to believe in themselves.
Recently, I got a chance to meet and interview Siddharth over a cup of coffee.
Me: When did the idea of film direction hit you?
Siddharth: Its difficult to remember when exactly. I always found the entire process of filmmaking very appealing and not just direction. I wanted to do so many things that at one point of time I almost thought it was impossible to do all of it in one lifetime. Making films was the only way I could imagine my dreams materializing.
Me: What made you choose this passion as your career?
Siddharth: I don’t know if I have made that choice yet but yes I can see it shaping somewhat like a career. I don’t see myself doing anything else nor do i think I can. In a way its a choice made in a helpless situation but undoubtedly, a very fulfilling choice.
Me: Is film making your life or your living?
Siddharth: As of now, neither. I love it; I want to keep making films. It is one of the most important and most beautiful ‘part’ of my life but definitely not life. I think we are much more than what we do professionally and how we project ourselves or how the world perceives us.There is so much to figure out before I say that it is my life or living.
Me: Is it harder to get started or keep going in this field?
Siddharth: I don’t know if I am the right person to comment on this. Each person’s journey is so unique and struggle so subjective. I think we all experiment, discover and hence evolve. I am also doing that. Yes it has been hard for me to start because I had no resources at all. The challenge of ‘going on’ is something that I am facing right now. Only time will tell what I choose for myself and how fairly I face my challenges.
Me: The theme of your movies are audience or content based?
Siddharth: I truly believe that “content” is the soul and theme of a good film. Of course ultimately the audience judges the film, which is inevitable, but one can’t make a film to impress or flatter the audience. That will just spell the death of the spirit of filmmaking. One is bound to fail when the goal is others attention or flattery! When choosing a theme I choose a topic/story that appeals to me and one that I will be able to justify with utmost sincerity.
Me: What is your biggest challenge? Tell me more about your upcoming projects?
Siddharth: I’ve been sought of under confident about pulling off a film with too many characters so this is my next challenge. I am writing a film with 5 lead characters and this will be my next project, the pre production for which is scheduled to begin in March, 2016.
Other than that I am looking forward to the world premiere of “PaPa”, developing few more Scripts for future.
Me: The funds for your films are sponsored or are self generated?
Siddharth: Nobody likes to pay for your experiments. That’s a fact but I’ve been very lucky in terms of having the support of my wonderful friends. I’ve been funding my films majorly by myself but my close friends always collaborate and help me in whatever capacity they can. Off late a lot of people have started trusting my work and are showing interest in collaborating with me .I hope that the State Government and Language, Art & Culture department too starts recognizing films as a work of art n extend their support to filmmaking in Himachal Pradesh.
Me: What is your plan for the next 10 years?
Siddharth: I am determined to present 10 beautiful films to the world with local actors, stories, music, crew and locations! I am looking at making Shimla the new capital of talent, a reservoir which the world will look at for its culture, diversity and art work.
I want to set an example before everyone that you can accomplish anything and everything just where you are! I think my work hints at my mission and that is what attracts attention. Movies evolve through a creative process with script tampering the thoughts to develop your audience. All it needs is to reconcile your thoughts, work with them creatively, never will your place your platform matter it will be your belief that will captivate you future in your terms.
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