The Voice Behind 'Placebo'
When he was unable to find an internship for himself, he decided to take the camera in his own hands and finish his dissertation in his own way – That is the true story of independent short filmmaker Abhay Kumar. This 25-year old took the hard road to success but like they say, success comes to those who dare to act. Born and brought up in Chandigarh, he started experimenting with the camera while doing his graduation in mass communication in Delhi.
“The whole idea of presenting the report by myself is what really excited me”, remembers Abhay, who made a 45-minute film documenting a college trip. “After it was screened in front of a library hall packed with an attentive audience, I got a standing ovation and the much-needed morale boost to believe in myself and my capabilities”, he adds. In the short span of 4-5 years of making films, this young gun has received a lot of critical appreciation and has also won numerous awards including Best Film at the 28th Busan International Short Film Festival in 2011. So what does India’s very own next Christophar Nolan to-be think of indie films? For him, an indie is a film with a unique independent outlook and thought, further embossing on the fact that indie as a term has been diluted beyond recognition. “Back in the days, indie films were known as films made by maverick filmmakers outside the big bad studio arrangement. These films were often made with the support of minimum technical resources”, points out Abhay. His first taste of an indie came when he was traveling with his film to the International Film Festival of Rotterdam in 2011. This introduction made Abhay realise that an indie movie is much more dynamic and vast in its feature than is usually expressed.
He feels that taking the independent road to filmmaking is not a matter of conscious choice. It came to him hard and it came to him much later, when his work really started making ripples in the industry and in front of critics. He started his journey with a playful attitude, experimenting with a plethora of genres and getting into the zone, which would bring out the best in him. Once he got sure of doing his own stuff and following his own style, he realised that was the only place where he found a semblance of peace and then he never looked back.
His next project is titled, Placebo, which is being produced by the go-to man for all things eclectic in Bollywood, Anurag Kashyap; is a hybrid documentary that deals with issues like education, urban loneliness, and how the society defines what success is and how those notions can be absolutely false. The film talks about an important social issue that is being faced by many people who are still unaware of this problem. Anurag Kashyap was introduced to Abhay’s associate’s film by a common friend. That is when Anurag instantly remembered that he had seen their work before and he got in touch with Abhay’s team. But it was only after Abhay showed Anurag a couple of cuts, which he along with his team had prepared for his current documentary that Anurag came onboard as an executive producer. We wish him the best.