Published: 08th May 2019
Meet this Chennai filmmaker who recently directed a segment for Viu original Gangster Diaries
After switching a number of careers, Akshay Sundher finally decided to be a filmmaker. He tells us why he loves cinema
In six years, from 2008 to 2014, Akshay Sundher donned the roles of a photojournalist, a teacher, a CA aspirant, a game developer and a student. Six years later, in 2015, he finally found his calling in films. This is the journey of this 28-year-old filmmaker in a nutshell. But there’s more to it.
Akshay’s always been a hardcore movie buff. For someone, whose current emotion is linked to the last film that he watched, he says that his journey into the field was totally random. “I tried my hand at a lot of things before filmmaking happened. It was only during my post graduation days that I actually realised that cinema is interesting,” he admits.
His first film Afterlife was released in 2015. The film portrayed the emotions that a person goes through when they decide to commit suicide and shows how we are conditioned to believe that death is a solution to everything. It also debunks the concept of heaven. “We shot the film with very minimal resources, to be honest. We pooled in hardly Rs 20,000. I worked on almost every aspect of it except camera and acting,” says Akshay. The cinematography for the film was done by G K Vishnu, who was also the DOP for Vijay-starrer Mersal. The film went on to win accolades in a few film festivals, both in India and abroad.
At the same time, Akshay tells us that filmmaking is not as glamorous as it looks from the outside. He goes on to tell us more about the struggles that a filmmaker has to go through. “One has to face a lot of rejections and pressure. It is very draining emotionally. If anything goes wrong, the blame is always on the director. At the same time, the director is almost never appreciated. But at the end of the day, it's all worth it,” he says.
In these four years, Akshay has also made a few TV commercials. Inspired by Alejandro González Iñárritu’s P&G 2016 Olympics commercial, he says, “My goal here is to approach the concept in such a way that people from different backgrounds also get it, surpassing all the language barriers.” He has also directed a few music videos, a few narratives for awareness campaigns. Recently, Akshay directed a segment in the Viu series Gangster Diaries.
Akshay's Gangster diaries team:
Raghav Adhithya - Cinematographer
Arun Koushik - Director/Creative Producer - Film Dailies
Abbhinav Kastura - Creative Producer
Madhumitha Venugopal - Associate director.