Published: 04th September 2019
This 23-year-old filmmaker from Kolkata is all about making movies that matter
Rohit wants to make films that portray his vision and talk about relevant aspects of society as well
Cinematographer, actor, editor, assistant director — 23-year-old Rohit Gharami from Kolkata has slowly but very steadily graduated to the director’s chair since his first stint as an actor in an amateurish short film when he was in Class 11. Rohit’s first directorial venture, Pronami, was first screened on May 1, 2018, at the NSHM Knowledge Campus and received a positive response from the audience.
The film is an adaptation, by Rohit himself, of an all-time favourite Bengali novel, Debatar Janma (The Birth of a Deity) by Shibram Chakrabarty. “I adapted the story to relate to modern times. We might have come a long way since Sibram wrote the story but the basics of society remain the same. The story is still relevant if you can relate it to the current generation,” says Rohit. “I grew up watching Bollywood and Bengali cinema but when I think I understood the meaning of making films when I was introduced to independent movies and world cinema,” says the young filmmaker who has been equally influenced by the regular Godard-Truffaut-Bergman cocktail as he has been by Shyam Benegal or Adoor Gopalakrishnan. But what inspired him the most, he says, are historic movements like Iranian Cinema, La Nouvelle Vague (French New Wave) and Italian Neorealism.
Rohit's short film poster
Rohit thinks the mode of films that he is experimenting with at the moment — short films — needs the indie approach. “I do not think it would ever be wise to give a short film a Bolly, Tolly or Kollywood treatment. It will never work. We need to make films that matter, that talk about issues that are relevant in today’s time and also portray the director’s vision,” he says.
Rohit also has a thriving career as a wedding photographer but he does it only to fuel his creative aspirations. He feels that he would have to take up a job to fuel his career as an indie director. “It is difficult to make films and not have a career that earns your daily bread. Especially, when you are from a middle-class family in India,” says the youngster. “There are people who look down upon wedding photography or event photography because they think it kills creativity. I do not agree with that line of thought. These are just avenues to keep your creative space afloat. How else will I earn a living?” Rohit adds.