May 23, 2010 (calcuttaTube): Indian actor, director Mukesh Asopa, currently based in Canada, talks to Shrabanti Basu from CalcuttaTube about his journey into films, his inspirations, works, upcoming projects. Mukesh has been a disciple of the famous acting teacher Mr. Barry John, who has also been the teacher of Bollywood actors Shah Rukh Khan, Manoj Bajpai, Shiney Ahuja. Mukesh’s film The Taste Of Relation has been screened at the Global Cinema Film Festival, 2009 in India and will be screened at the Cyprus International Film Festival in October, 2010.
Mukesh’s another film Aisha and Rahul (2009) has won the Golden Palm Award at the Mexico International Film Festival 2009. The talented filmmaker, who has also explored the horizons of theatre and television, is currently working in the horror drama ‘Zombie Beach’. Read the exclusive interview with Mukesh Asopa at CalcuttaTube.
[ReviewAZON asin=”B00328HSMU” display=”inlinepost”]Calcutta Tube: Please tell us something about your journey from Kolkata to North America.
Mukesh Asopa: I still remember my childhood days when I used to go to school in Howrah, a subarb to the metropolitan city Kolkata.That is the place where I was born and brought up. Surrounded by all talented and study oriented friends, it was a very competitive childhood to score more marks and get better ranks in class. By the blessings of Maa Saraswati I completed my studies with Bachelors Degree from the Calcutta University and then moved to New Delhi with my parents. However I was asking myself some questions; do I have to complete Business Management to make my parents happy and convinced? Am I being creative? The answer was no. Somehow I always had a sense of incompleteness within me. I was being just like others till then.
But all my questions got an answer while I was watching a theatre show in the National School of Drama (NSD) and I was very much inspired by it. It was not easy for someone without any basics at all to get admission in the institute. But then again I felt that what I needed was a good teacher, a ‘guru’ and not a famous institution. That was when I joined Mr. Barry John’s class, who then had an institute in Saket in New Delhi called Imago.
It was such a good experience for me to be there. Nothing ever in my life before had made me feel so contended and confident. He has been the best ‘guru’ I could ever asked for.
Calcutta Tube: Are you currently based in Canada?
Mukesh Asopa: Presently I am based in Canada with a focus to work in Hollywood and Canadian films, as well as independent films and Bollywood projects.
Calcutta Tube: You have worked with so many different media like theatre, movie, television. Which one did you like the best? Is it easier to work in one medium or is it better to have experience in several ones ?
Mukesh Asopa: Movie is the best medium for me and that is what I am trying to focus on whether it is Hollywood, Bollywood or the world of independent cinema in Canada.TV episodes inspire me only when they reflect good taste, and do not repetitively use the same concept.
Calcutta Tube: Please tell us something about your upcoming movie ‘Zombie Beach’.
Mukesh Asopa: The story of ‘Zombie Beach’ is about a beach being occupied by the zombies where Andrew lost everything. Will he comeback to take revenge and free the land from evil? Will he be able to free the soul? You have to watch the film to get the answers.
Zombie Beach is a complete and unique project filmed on an interesting beach covered by mountains and cliffs. In the movie, you can see everything which you might have not seen in any other zombie films starring an actor from India.
Calcutta Tube: How much is the film ‘Zombie Beach’ done? When is it going to release?
Mukesh Asopa: The film’s post production works are completed and the film is in progress of going to different film festivals. We have already got the good news of the film being selected in some fests and more updates will be available soon.
Calcutta Tube: Who is the target audience of your films as a director?
Mukesh Asopa: My target is to reach everywhere; any place my films can make it. I want to take them to film festivals worldwide and then to theatres and DVDs. To me it makes more sense for a film to be recognized in film festivals before they are released theatrically and or on DVDs. The reason is very simple- in film festivals experienced film critics select and recognize good films which adds more values to the films to be watched by the world audience. It is also a kind of certification for films being good, if they win awards.
Calcutta Tube: What genres do you like working with?
Mukesh Asopa: The first and foremost thing I like to work with is good and interesting stories. Unique concept, along with innovative approach of presenting it on the screen, is again another important thing for me. I prefer working on dramas,thrillers, romance and comedy. Horror and suspense mix also inspire me depending on uniqueness of the projects. I do not like to work on something which is being made or has been seen on screens before. I would rather work on projects that will make the audience think about the story and make them watch the film time and again.
Calcutta Tube: Where do you see yourself in the next five years?
Mukesh Asopa: In next five years…..I would like to be everywhere where there is good film…hehe!!! As an actor I want to be with good and famous directors, whereas as a director I would love to be with good and talented cast and crew. And another thing for sure, I will be somewhere in the Himalayas, shooting an interesting film. There are so many things that are still untouched by film makers both story wise and idea wise.
CalcuttaTube: What are your upcoming movie projects?
Mukesh Asopa: Presently I am working on five different feature film projects and they all are on very interesting subjects namely Chambers Gate (announced), Universal Greed (working title), Depth of Love (working title), untitled Bengali feature film project, untitled Hindi feature film project.
‘Chambers Gate’ has already been announced and is in the pre-production stage. It is a psychological thriller which is based on loss of faith and is scheduled for filming in next few months.
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