Ahmedabad based short filmmaker; Tanmay Shah is a popular name. His films such as ‘Paperboat’ and ‘Wish’ have received awards and recognized by international film festivals. His decision of leaving a secured IIT job and venturing into filmmaking will amaze and inspire you. A look at his office will show you how creative minds work. His simple office is painted with an Amitabh comic figure on one side and on other, there is Charlie Chaplin saying, ‘Seriousness is a disease.’
With such an inspiring ambiance, one could only come with ideas that change the world. In a candid talk with Ahmedabad Blog correspondent Nikita Dudani, he shares his and Friday Fiction Films Pvt. Ltd, journey with us.
Q1. Can you tell us the story or idea behind the name, ‘Friday Fiction Films?’
Tanmay: I used to write lots of short stories before. These stories are now turning into film scripts. Filmmaking happened, it was not planned. My first film, ‘Intend’ went into International Film Festival and that is when I left everything and worked in this area.
I always write imaginative, fiction scripts, which are very short. And since, films are released on Friday, so the name stuck, ‘Friday Fiction Films.’ Also, being into IT industry before, website was a big deal and once I ventured into it, the first thing I did was to register a domain. Friday Fiction Films was free so we bought it. That is how, ‘Friday Fiction Films’ was born!
Q2. Is it hard to make films without dialogues?
Tanmay: Yes, it is. I started directing films with a friend who was Tamil. I could not understand or speak Tamil and he could not speak or understand Hindi. Language came as a major barrier here. Then, when I visited Dharavi, I saw that people could communicate so much with just a smile. So, I asked myself, ‘Is language really required?’
If I have to send my film to Africa, people should be able to relate to it. The visual effects will make them connect and understand it and that is what I want.
Q3. Tell me something about the ongoing project – 52 films in a year.
Tanmay: The name is, ‘Friday Fiction Films’ so I thought why not I make a film on every Friday? It is just like a routine. Suppose you jog regularly, you are habituated to it, your body is fit and you are a pro at it. Same is with the films. The more I make; the perfect they will be and the more I will learn.
Q4. Any particular theme behind it or the topics random?
Tanmay: The topics are very random. My films have surprising ends. Earlier, when I made films, no one used to get it. They would feel like, ‘yeh kya banaya hai’ and that is when I started putting messages. I thought let us do it this way. And, surprisingly, they turned into social issues. I finish my scripts with a strong end or I should say open end. Because I want audience to comment and interact.
Q5. From being IT man to filmmaker, the journey is not easy. Tell us something about your journey.
Tanmay: I have always been good at studies. And I was in IIT Mumbai, when I shoot my first film. It made its way into an international film festival. It fascinated me. The idea that what I am painting is being conveyed there. For example, when I am coding, no one can see it. But here, all my ideas are projected as I imagined and appreciated by people. That motivated and inspired me to leave everything and venture into it.
Q6. How did your family react?
Tanmay: Initially, they were shocked and startled, as I had landed into a good job. But, later I convinced them and they allowed me to follow my dreams.
Q7. Tell us some of the accolades your films received.
Tanmay: My film Paperboat won at a festival, ‘Yes! I am the Change’ and Wish went into Sydney Transgender Film Festival 2014. Except that, my films have also made to Script International Short Film Festival, Cochin and Shamiana.
Q7. You have made around 32-40 films but only few have been in public. Why is it so?
Tanmay: Some of the film festivals do not allow the entry of the films, which are already published. Hence, I have not published every film.
Q8: Any plan on venturing into Bollywood?
Tanmay: (Laughs) I believe and hope that Bollywood calls me!
If you have not seen any film by Friday Fiction Films, then log on to YoutTube now. And Bollywood, are you listening?