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Exclusive: Interview with filmmaker Abhishek Chandra

“Asian cinema has always been my biggest influence even before I went to film school.” – AB.

Abhishek Chandra

Just Fame got a chance to interview Filmmaker Abhishek Chandra in regard to his new award-winning short film “Ladybug.” He shared insights about his creative process, his source of inspirations, upcoming projects and much more!

Q. Abhishek, It’s great to have you on Just Fame. How are you doing?

Abhishek: It’s great to be here. I’m doing good. Thank you for having me.

Q. Well first of all congratulations as it seems busy award season for you! Your film “Ladybug” has won numerous awards. What exactly is going through your mind right now?

Abhishek: I’m humbled. And it feels great when your work is appreciated. We didn’t think it’ll be this big with accolades and awards pouring in from different parts of the world. But, I have to admit, this only happened because I had a group of brilliantly talented people on this project who gave everything to make Ladybug the success it is today.

Q. Did you anticipate such widespread acclaim for this film?

Abhishek: Not at all. I never thought it’ll reach all corners of the world and get appreciated and awarded in so many different countries. Tells me that we have a great product on our hand and puts me in a positive pressure to do even better next time.

Q. Please tell us what sort of creative decisions you had to implement in order to make “Ladybug”?

Abhishek: Well, when I came on board, the script was completely in English. And since, its based on true events and a major part of the story happens in Brazil, it was our call to change the Brazilian scenes into Portuguese to lend more authenticity. And I think it worked beautifully. Although, I had to work doubly hard on the language since I’m not well versed in Portuguese. Also, directing this script was very liberating for me as I’ve mostly worked on my own material. So, this was a very pleasant and a welcome change. I enjoyed it more and I learned a lot about myself as well. You see, when you are filming your own work, you are for good or bad already in a pre-conceived box of ideas. But, when you’re working with other writer’s script, you’re free to think more, better even. You surprise yourself, and I for one, really enjoyed making this film with that perspective.

Q. Which filmmakers had a major influence in your life?

Abhishek: Asian cinema has always been my biggest influence even before I went to film school. I’m a huge nerd for films by Kim Ki-Duk, Takeshi Kitano, Zhang Yimou. I think these three filmmakers have had the most influence in my craft so far. But, I’m a student of cinema, will always be one and I learn a new thing every day from films across the globe.

Q. Any word of advice for aspiring Film Directors?

Abhishek: Yes, don’t get caught in the urgency of finishing a film by just capturing images in a standard industry approved way. The idea of filming coverages is overrated. Find your own voice on how you want to capture a moment or a scene. And, for that it’ll really help if you have a basic knowledge in editing. A good editor makes a fantastic director and an even better producer. Lastly, don’t be afraid to make mistakes.

Q. You have worked on a lot of projects in the industry. How do you approach any project in the beginning stages of its execution?

Abhishek: Well it depends on if I’m the director or the producer or both. Usually, it’s all about getting the right people on board. For me, it’s very important to have good souls with a zest for cinema attached to my projects. One person with a negative attitude or a problem can bring down everyone else. Set is my happy place. And, I make films because, talented individuals come together to create an art and help elevate your sense of craft. It’s an amazing feeling. Cinema is not a one man’s job, it’s a collaborative medium. So, it’s very important to have good people around. If you have great people around you, your work automatically will turn out to be great.

Q. What’s next? Which projects are you working on now?

Abhishek: I’m working on two feature length scripts right now. One is a modern day adaptation of the Indian epic Ramayana and other is an action-comedy with twist of romance. Other than that, I’m also working with artist FOUR on his comeback album called “Rock N Roll Soul”. I’m very excited about this one.

Q. Lastly, as we ask all our artists on Just Fame, do you have any closing thoughts that you would like to share with our readers?

Abhishek: Well, firstly thank you for taking out the time in indulging me. Secondly, I sincerely hope we soon return to pre-covid days and I pray that this dark cloud passes over soon and we all get back to doing what we all love.

About the Filmmaker: Abhishek ‘AB’ Chandra is an Indian born Filmmaker, Writer, Producer best known for his work in the Indian Advertising & Film Industry. His produced/ directed works have been awarded 16 metals (Gold, Silver, Bronze) in the prestigious ABBY Awards & OAC India Awards. He is a full time writer, producer and music video director.

Abhishek has directed multiple shorts in Los Angeles. His recent short titled, “Ladybug” an
English-Portuguese Drama that he Produced and Directed has won multiple awards across the world. Few of the Awards that “Ladybug” won are listed here:

  1. Best Drama (Venice Film Awards – Sept 2020),
  2. Best Drama Film Short (Europe Film Festival – Jan 2021)
  3. Best International Short Film (Rameshwaram International Film Festival – Sept 2020),
  4. Best International Short (Indo-Singapore Film Festival 2021)
  5. Best Short Film (Silver – Virgin Spring Cinefest – Oct 2020)

For a complete list of awards visit: Official IMDB Awards List

For further details visit: Official Abhishek Chandra IMDB

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