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January 21, 2018

The Fresh List 2018: Shubhashish Bhutiani

Text by Zaral Shah

Shubhashish Bhutiani’s National Film Award-winning movie, Mukti Bhawan (2017) won over two dozen international awards

He wrote and directed his first short film, Kush, as a part of his thesis at the School of Visual Arts, New York. Not only did it win over two dozen international awards and a National Film Award for Best Promotional Film (2013), it was also shortlisted for the 2014 Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Film. A Calvin and Hobbes fan, Shubhashish Bhutiani, who hails from Mussoorie and Mumbai, fantasises about chancing upon the perfect script washed up ashore while walking on the beach.

You, in three words: Focused, confused and curious.

A passion outside of your work is…cooking. And I’m slowly getting better!

The motto you live by is…something that I was once told: “Jump in the water with the knowledge that it’s cold, and that it will feel warmer with time”.

An era of films you cherish is…French movies of the ’60s, because that was a time when a bunch of guys just went out on the streets and made films they wanted to, and came up with techniques that are being used even today. As a young film-maker, these films inspire me — as do Indian and American offerings from the ’70s.

On the love Mukti Bhawan received: It’s been an amazing journey, and every step of the way I’ve been supported by many people. It gives me immense joy when someone comes and hugs me after seeing the film, or talks about their experiences. It’s such an honour, and I can’t stress enough how grateful I am.

Your driving force in life…is my work, it has to be my collaborators — they are constantly pushing me to do better and think in new ways.

A film you’d like to remake is…The Bicycle Thieves, because it’s a beautiful, simple story that moved me a lot and has stayed with me for many years.

The year that was: it has really been a year where truth has been stranger than fiction.

If you could have any job for a day, you would…manage Arsenal Football Club for one day.

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