Mumbai, a concrete jungle where only the fittest survive. But what about the ones who struggle to exist? 'Mi aani Mi' is the story of one such boy. Brought up in a typical Maharashtrian family, he always felt atypical. An outcast. His sense of not belonging to his family and to his city always dragged him to his troubled past. In a dimly lit apartment, he is haunted by his memories mercilessly. One day he decides to brave his scars. And this is where a new journey begins. A journey of acceptance and healing.
Me and Me was showcased in Jio Mami Dimension Mumbai 2019.
Hello Shardul! Where did you grow up? What attracted you to film-making?
I’m Born and brought up by a Maharashtrian Family of Mumbai, having no interest in films or TV. I was perusing Electronics from National College,Bandra. One day I saw someone shooting a documentary in my campus and that drove my interest towards films, which lead me to quit my electronics and move to mass media. I still remember for 2 months I had just one work to do i.e to open tripod legs. That gave me such a strong feeling to persure films as my career.
Could you tell us more about how you learnt film direction - either on your own, or if you went film school how did the experience benefit you.
I learned everything on my own with trail and error method, which gave me a very strong creative side of my own but for technical knowledge we all need is an external support and that-support I got from Rajiv Menon from ISC’s Mindscreen Film Institution where I am currently doing a course in Cinematography.
Going to film school helps a lot in all aspects making your perspective and vision more wide and strong.
How was your experience of making this film. How you got the idea, and then getting the cast, pitching the idea. What were the key challenges?
The most important aspect of Me & My Film is Team work. I had made a short film for my inter-college festival on same topic and I always wanted to Highlight the part where a person accepts their own self no matter what society or family says and react!
It was very hard to find a perfect cast as I wanted identical faces but The actor Sumeet had helped me a lot with the cast and also the writer of the film Bhavesh.
Both the lead actors Chinmayee and Sumeet were so smooth in acting ,my work on set was minimal. My both Dops Aashay and Chinmay made the film look beautiful as I wanted. I was blessed with the best crew and cast.
The only hardship came for me was funds and the location, as being an independent filmmaker the people who trust on your work are very less and the support is very minimal but I am very thankful of everyone who had put in efforts to make this film worthy.
What advice will you give to aspiring filmmakers in this industry? Also should they consider taking a formal course? How do you find footing in this industry.
- My only advice to new filmmakers will be just don’t be afraid to try, just do whatever makes you happy and that will work out for you ,if not today but someday for sure!
Making films is not easy, getting into industry is not easy either but if you have dedication to work hard and prove yourself then you will make it through!
Just don’t stop creating!
Yes,Taking formal education in films is important as it gives you a totally different vision and perspective to watch and study films.
Studying History of filmmaking is very important because the filmmaking technique back-then was outstanding in all the aspects.
How was your experience showcasing your film at MAMI? What were the key takeaways.
MAMI is one of the finest Film Festivals in India and worldwide too, My First MAMI experience was outstanding, the way festival was organized and the films which were showcased ,it was such a big honor for small filmmakers like us to get screens at such a big festival.
The amount of exposure I got was outstanding, there were producers and writers calling me just because they saw my name in MAMI 2019 brochure , even 6 months after Festival . This is what MAMI does, it gives the motivation to do more good work.