In the 20th Century, Indian Cinema, like the Hollywood and the Chinese Film Industries became a global enterprise. Every year the Indian film industry produces in excess of 2000 films between the nine different regional film industries. However, the movie Industry is often lashed out for its mediocrity. Defying these clichéd ideologies , is our next friend on Friendly Fridays who will accompany us in our journey of Chapter 4 Today!
Born and brought up in Delhi, Kunal Aneja, 20, left his engineering degree to pursue a generalist course in management. Academics didn’t give him enough exposure to life, he felt. He thereon got into Street Theatre making insightful plays about the situation of our society. Started with film making about a year ago, cofounding a production house that won the Cinephile Film Festival. His content is a regular on Scoopwhoop and the Logical Indian. A die hard Honey Singh fan, you can find him dancing to Desi Kalakaar when he’s not making thoughtful movies.
ED Team: Hi Kunal! Congratulations on winning an award for your latest work ‘Laathi’ at the Film Festival in Mumbai. The first question that comes to our mind is, Engineering, Management and now Film Making ? Sounds like one hell of a ride, How has it been?
Kunal Aneja: (Laughs) It indeed has been a crazy ride.See, Science happened by Chance. I wanted to get away from it, to pursue a generalist course, so, I chose management. Academics didn’t interest me. They weren’t enough for the exposure I wanted from life. Getting into street theatre, I realised I could invest my thoughts and opinions into something bigger. Something that affected a mass thought. So, I got to film making. And I loved every minute of it. I knew it was my calling. So the journey has been one hell of a ride of self-discovery.
ED Team: Who has been your inspiration to take up film making?
Kunal Aneja: There was no inspiration to take up film making except an idea to present thoughts to an audience. I did it. I realised that I enjoyed doing it. But yes, ever since then, there has been an Inspiration that keeps me moving. I wish to direct Al Pacino once in my life. The second is to receive a Palm D’or at the Cannes.
ED Team: WOW! Those are big dreams! Honestly, living in a country like India where success is still measured in terms of bank accounts and bloodlines by society. How has it been pursuing an art like film making on the family front?
Kunal Aneja: Honestly, like all Punjabi Parents, My family took it as a joke initially. Engineering, then Business Management and Arts ( Laughs while mentioning).It had come to a point where career switch was my ‘thing’. But with movie making stepping in, I shaped as a person. My family noticed perseverance and passion in me. And, they now support my dreams
ED Team : Do you think a person is a born superstar or can hard work make you one?
Kunal Aneja: I honestly don’t like the word superstar. In my opinion if you like what you are doing, you enjoy it. Your passion makes you grow! You are on journey then. A journey of practice and hard work and then you can achieve anything. Effort in the right direction, in my opinion, delivers results. One good result is big enough an incentive to achieve another one.
ED Team: So apart from sleeping, bathing, thinking and film-making, how does a normal day go by in your life?
Kunal Aneja: The last few months have been much focussed on film making. I however also give my time to street theatre to get that mix of perspective and people. I also read a lot of non-fictional content and religiously chill with my friends and family.
ED Team: Your movies reflect your opinion that evokes emotion. What’s your take on the Indian movie Industry?
Kunal Aneja: I think it’s the very fact that it is an ‘industry’ is what makes it sad. People treat it as a business and hence look at profits. They ignore how they’re impacting a mass audience. They are responsible for millions of thought processes with every release they offer. There is no ‘ love’ , just clone like commodities served week after week to us.
ED Team: We hope they’re listening to what you just said! Kunal, Is there a movie maker you look upto?A benchmark in your head maybe? Someone you’ll someday mention in your Cannes speech maybe?
Kunal Aneja: Quentin Tarantino. He is class apart. Godly, yup that’s the word.
ED Team: Any belief you have in life?
Kunal Aneja : Nothing, except , love your life and what you do in it!
ED Team: Any feedback on Friendly Fridays ?
Kunal Aneja: Firstly, not because I am being interviewed, I absolutely loved the concept of a ‘talent map’. It’s such a unique and needed concept. Hats off to you guys for pulling it off! Also not only does one get to know so much through this platform, it’s a great confidence booster for new people in the circuit like myself. Kudos to the team!
So this was Kunal Aneja who is a fun person besides being an amazing film maker. We hope to see him at Cannes someday!
So here we conclude this week’s friendly Fridays. Watch out for this space next Friday for yet another talented personality.
Look out for his work below.