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17 minutes agoAuthor: Kiran Jain
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Indian filmmaker Karisma Dev Dubey’s short film ‘Bittu’ has entered the top 10 list of Oscars. The film is presented by Tahira Kashyap, Ekta Kapoor and Guneet Monga under ‘Indian Women Rising’. During a conversation with Dainik Bhaskar, New York-based Karishma revealed that she was quite shocked when she learned that her film had been nominated at the Oscars. He also shared some more things related to his professional life.
Q- What was your first reaction to the first Indian film nomination under the ‘Indian Women Rising’ banner?
A-The film represents the work of many people without whom it would have been impossible to be at this level today. They include children who give the story its origin and were inspiring to all. Our entire team has worked hard and is very happy when your hard work brings such color. My first reaction was shocking when it was revealed that the film ‘Bittu’ was nominated for an Oscar. After this I was proud that I got the opportunity to present such incredible work on a platform which is very prestigious in itself.
Q- How did you decide to present this story in the film?
A-The film is inspired by a true incident that was a casual school poisoning in 2013 in Bihar. I gave more than 3 years for this film after the help and help of NGO Pratham. But there is much in this film that is my own experiences in boarding school such as my relationship with the officer there and my friendship. Bittu and Chand were also my sisters Shreya Dev Dubey and my representative. Both of us were very opposite from each other. Shreya was fearless and there I was very shy. Education systems in India often compliment easy, educational children and isolate more individual students. Bittu’s experience highlights this systemic negligence.
Q-What kind of challenges did the team face when the film was shot in a few days?
A-We finished the film in 6 days. Every day we worked for 8 hours. It was very difficult we had funding but it was not enough. We had very ambitious scripts but not enough time and resources. The special thing was that we had a strong team to face these challenges. My core crew did not lag behind in the making of this film. Above all, the two girls were my greatest allies, I could do nothing without them.
Q- How challenging was it to make a film without an A-lister celebrity?
A-The film needed actors who were able to relate to each other and feel that they were a representation of the experience we were trying to portray. Saurabh Saraswat was the only professional actor among 11 new comers. They all had a big contribution in performance. We were lucky that we got what we needed in our cast. I am very proud of his performance.
Q-How important is it for you to receive an Oscar award?
A-I feel very grateful. Not only me but my entire team will get this recognition worldwide. This award is very important for me.
Q- Are you working on any project other than ‘Bittu’?
A-Currently I am producing Mary Evangelista’s feature film Burning Well which will be here in New York. We hope to start shooting soon this year. Also I am trying to get back into writing as soon as possible.
Q- How would you define Indian Women Rising?
A-Indian Women Rising is the first effort to support emerging filmmakers in India. I hope that more people with resources will adopt this model to help them discover important stories coming to India. I am very proud that the film ‘Bittu’ is associated with this effort.