May 13, 2014-
Sampada Malla is not new to the field of arts and literature. After doing her Masters in filmmaking from the Asian Academy of Film and Television, Delhi, Sampada has been active in writing screenplays and making short films. In the past, she has worked as an associate screenplay writer in many popular shows including Saubhagyawati Bhawa, Navya, Yeh Rista Kya Kehlata Hai, and Parwarish in the Indian television industry. She has also been a part of well-known production houses in Bollywood like Vishesh Films and Yash Raj Films. Rajita Dhungana talked to Sampada about her career and other interests. Excerpts:
What keeps you busy at present?
I’m currently working as the creative producer on a Bollywood film titled Kerry on Kutton, to be released at the end of the year. The film stars Satyajeet Dubey, who was in the movie Always Kabhi Kabhi, and Aditya Kumar of Gangs of Wasseypur fame, and is currently in the post-production phase. I am also working as the creative director at the Sarwanam Theatre in Kathmandu. Besides these two stints, I’ve also been working on a few film-related projects with the production house I founded last year, 360 degree Mountain Films. Simultaneously, I’ve been working on another Nepali book—my second so far—an anthology of short stories revolving around the Maoist conflict and its after-effects. That too will come out next year.
Given that kind of schedule, do you ever get time to just relax? What do you like doing when you’re not working?
Whenever I find myself with some free time on my hands, I like to travel because it fuels my creativity like nothing else, helps me come up with new stories and characters and ideas in general. It’s an important part of my life. I especially enjoy going out of the city to more remote areas in the country. My absolutely favourite place in the whole world is Lukla; it has some of the best views of Everest. Apart from travelling, I also like to watch films and read when I’m not working.
What kind of films do you like to watch?
I am a big-time Bollywood fan, and watch both box office hits as well as films that are critically-acclaimed. As far as Hollywood is concerned, I pick out films that have gotten good reviews, been nominated or won different awards. Of late, I’ve started watching a great deal of Nepali cinema as well. My favourite actors are Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hanks and Kate Winslet. The amount of hard work and research these actors put into each of their roles, in an effort to get into the skin of their characters, is remarkable. You see them transform completely into different people on screen, lose themselves in the film, and it’s amazing to witness.
You must deal with a lot of technical equipment in your line of work. Are you very tech-savvy in daily life as well?
Not really. Although I do have a list of gadgets that I’m obsessed with, namely my iPhone, my iMac and my recently-purchased DSLR. I can’t imagine being without them.
What about fashion? Any trends you’re obsessed with at present?
I’m not a very fashion or brand-conscious person. I like to dress in outfits that are simple, comfortable and decent-looking—nothing too outrageous. My favourite piece of clothing in my own closet is an authentic kurta set that I purchased in Lucknow while we were shooting there—it’s gorgeous and I’m glad I found it.
What would you say is your biggest nightmare?
My biggest nightmare is the idea of losing my loved ones. That really scares me.
Who do you look up to as a source of inspiration?
That would have to be my father, Ashesh Malla and my mother Sabitri Malla Kakshapati. Seeing how dedicated my father has been to the realm of theatre and the art scene in Nepal in general. Even at an age when most people would be looking to retire, he is still very much involved in the arts, always creating, always working. My mother, on the other hand, is the perfect example of a woman who can balance her home life and her career with ease. They’re both very inspirational, and I hope that I can imbibe some of their qualities at the very least.
Is there anything you’d change about yourself if you could?
I guess I’d like to learn how to be a little more patient and relax more, stop obsessing over work all the time.
If not in this line of work, what do you think you’d have been doing?
I’d probably have been a business person, with a chain of stylish restaurants in various parts of the country. Actually, it’s something I want to pursue in real life, hopefully in a few years’ time.
Published: 13-05-2014 08:56