Electrifying an industry
Sep 27, 2016-
Navin Awal, creative director at Silhouette Productions, pursued a career in Physics for the better part of his life, fully aware that his true passion lay in filmmaking. After staying true to his dreams, he slowly began branching out to creating advertisement slots for various companies. Now coming out with a feature film, Bijuli Machine, which combines his love for science and filmmaking, Awal is excited to be bringing a science-fiction feature to the silver screens of Nepal. In this conversation with The Post’s Alisha Sijapati, Awal takes out his upcoming movie, its inspirations and his journey to becoming a moviemaker. Excerpts:
Can you tell us about your upcoming feature, Bijuli Machine?
Bijuli Machine is about two friends Simon (Abhishek Subedi) and Deepak (Jeewan Adhikary). It’s their quest to create electricity from sound. The story revolves around these two young students who are passionately trying to help their country that is facing a dire shortage of electricity. The movie shows the duo’s journey and struggle with constant rejections. We have tried to portray a real-life problem that plagues the country and its people. Hopefully, a lot of people can relate to it.
Science-fiction is a genre that is seldom tackled in the Nepali movie industry. Don’t you think it’s a risk to be launching something different?
Nepali movies have been evolving like never before. When I started writing the script for the movie, I didn’t think about how I would be changing the stereotypes. It’s strange how if one comedy film becomes a massive hit, the others begin to copy it and soon all the movies become clones of one another. I believe in originality and thinking out of the box. There definitely was an element of risk because the science fiction genre has never been explored in Nepal and it was my first step in the Nepali movie industry as well. However, I am confident about the script and think that Nepalis will be able to relate to the plot.
We also don’t have big producers backing the movie. Many wanted to change the essence of the script to which I didn’t agree with and I was left only with my script. It took me few years to get funds and thankfully, we got the project off the ground. Let’s see how it fares.
Apart from Rajesh Hamal, you have not casted a big star in the movie—most of them are fresh faces—how challenging was working with new actors?
When I started writing the script, I already knew who I wanted to cast and luckily, everyone I approached got on board. I had watched few of Abhishek’s stills from his Fuzz Factory videos and stunts and was very impressed. I knew he would be the only one who could portray Simon. I believed he could do justice to the character. The movie, altogether, has eight newcomers, who went through three months of extensive acting workshops. When I had them on screen at the locations, retakes weren’t necessary at all—the actors had already gone under the characters’ skin. It was pleasantly shocking that the shoot ended within a month.
Speaking of Hamal, he portrays a character of a professor in the movie. It took me over two months to approach him. The first meet was at the set of one of his movies and it didn’t go very well, but he was kind enough to rain check it for some other day. When I narrated the story to him, he instantly came on board. The reason I approached Hamal was due to his strong and charming stature in the industry. Although he just has a special cameo in the movie, I am sure it’ll definitely strike a chord with the audience.
Science and filmmaking are two very different streams. Having come from a science background, do you think you can branch out and do justice to other genres?
In my perspectives, filmmaking is science; they aren’t very different from each other. There are a lot of technicalities involved while making a film. Making movies doesn’t only mean shooting it, it takes a lot of work in production—whether its pre or post. Although, it only took us a month to complete the shoot, overall, the pre and post production took one-and-half years to complete.
I do want to branch out to different genres in the future. I derive a lot of inspiration from Steven Speilberg and James Cameron, who explore all kind of genres.
I do come from a science background but filmmaking is my true passion. Hopefully, with this first step, I can slowly establish myself in the industry.
Here is the trailer of 'Bijuli Machine' incase you have missed,
Published: 27-09-2016 08:35