Di­rec­tor’s cut

UMESH KULKA­RNI, 34, Film­maker

India Today - - SIMPLY PUNE -

Umesh Kulka­rni nearly be­came a char­tered ac­coun­tant be­fore he took up cinema as a ca­reer. His first doc­u­men­tary Girni, made in 2005 while he was still study­ing at Film and Tele­vi­sion In­sti­tute of In­dia (FTII), won the Best Short Film award at the Karlovy Vary In­ter­na­tional Film Fes­ti­val and was screened at the New York Film School fes­ti­val. The awards and ac­co­lades con­tin­ued to pour in as the Punebased di­rec­tor ush­ered in a new wave of com­edy in the Marathi film in­dus­try with Valu, the story of a bull. Valu was the first ever Marathi fea­ture film shown at the In­ter­na­tional Film Fes­ti­val Rot­ter­dam 2008. An avid trav­eller, he draws in­spi­ra­tion from the places he vis­its and the peo­ple he meets. His lat­est film Deeol is in­spired by the dilemma of the ed­u­cated youth in ru­ral Ma­ha­rash­tra who are un­able to find jobs.

‘LUCK BY CHANCE’ He was study­ing for his CA ex­ams when a chance meet­ing with a former the­atre group col­league led him to as­sist vet­eran di­rec­tors Su­mi­tra Bhave and Su­nil Sukhtankar on their film Doghi. It sparked off the love for cinema and he de­cided to join FTII.

CAUSE AND EF­FECT When he wrote Valu with friend Girish Kulka­rni, no one was will­ing to pro­duce the film. He raised Rs 1 crore from fam­ily and friends. Now, the chal­lenge is to make mean­ing­ful films that reach out to peo­ple and have a last­ing im­pact on the view­ers.

SMALL WON­DERS Short films are spe­cial to him and he con­tin­ues to make doc­u­men­taries af­ter he com­pletes a fea­ture film. “It’s a dif­fer­ent art form which has its own power and high artis­tic value,” says Kulka­rni, “We must have more re­spect for short films.”

sec­ond opinion

“Umesh ex­plores varied sub­jects, ex­per­i­ments with themes and for­mats and doesn’t hes­i­tate to choose a sub­ject that is close to his heart. This is very im­por­tant for mak­ing good films.” SANDEEP SAWANT, DI­REC­TOR

“I ex­plore and un­der­stand the world through my cinema and my big­gest achieve­ment is

when my film touches peo­ple’s hearts”

BHASKAR Paul/www.in­di­a­to­day­im­ages.com

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