HYDERABAD: 25-year-old Anshul Sinha has been living his dream of giving back to the society and has chosen the most impactful tool – the camera. He turned into a filmmaker, five years ago while he was pursuing his under-graduation.
“Even back then, when I started, I did do with a film on social awarenes,” begins Anshul, where the idea was not just to get a social problem onto the screen.
“In college, we used to collect `1 from every student and use it for some social cause. What struck me was that any person who donated, any amount of money, needs to know where it is going. So, we made a short film on how we collected the money and where we used it,” shares Anshul.
That money was donated to a school for visually-impaired that was negelected for a long time. This was made into a short documentary that caught the attention of Lions’ Club. “They came forward and donated 12 computers to the school,” he recalls.
That was when he realised the impact of visuals. “It suddenly occured to me – how quickly and how highly impactful can a short film, of four to five minutes long, be? All shot with basic equipment such as a handycam. That is when I decided to keep going,” shares the young lad, whose survival solely depends on the awards that his films win. He has made 40 short films and documentaries till date – where every single film has a social message attached to it.
After making series of films that talk about some cause, he spent a year combining all of them. This documentary went on to win 14 awards in inter-collegiate film festivals.
“My aim was to pass on this message – when one college could bring in these small yet significant changes, then imagine what could happen if all city colleges did their bit using the same tool,” exclaims Anshul adding that this way of spreading the message was adopted by 10 colleges in the city. He took this as cue and ventured into making short films. “My first short film was My Chocolate Cover, talks about keeping your city clean and green that recieved 14 awards and that was my first encouraging moment,” he recalls.
He continued on his journey to make Lapet, that won 25 awards including one international award in Los Angeles. “Lapet is a four-minutes long film that talks about communalism,” he informs adding that it was screened in four countries. The screenplay of the film is subtle, just like all his other short films that has four characters from different religions all coming together to repair a kite and fly it. Sequel of the same film, Lapet returns has also recieved a lot of appreciation. “It was screened in Venezuela after which they asked me to definitely send in the other films that I am going to make. That is very encouraging,” beams Anshul.
Other films by this city lad also touch upon aspects like challenges of individuals who shift their medium during their education, regional differences between Andhra and Telanagana (before it was bifurcated) and so on. His current work is a documentary that will be tentatively ready by January 2015 and talks about Satya Harishchandra Foundation – an organisation that picks unclaimed and unidentified dead bodies to perform their last rites. “That is a sensitive issue and I have done intense research for more than a year,” admits Anshul, the one thing he considers most important in filmmaking. “I don’t attempt anything based on my imagination,” says the mass communication graduate who went on to do his MBA and attributes his filmmaking skills toYoutube. “Everything that I know about filmmaking is what I learnt myself,” he says and ideating is what he enjoys most in the process. “I feel that once that is clear, the rest will fall in place,” though he does put his hand in all the stages of making the film. Anshul has also explored pencil sketch art, animation and VFX.