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You Can Learn a Lot from the Simplest Movies

You Can Learn a Lot from the Simplest Movies

Aditya J Patwardhan (AJP) is an Indian-origin film director, producer and scriptwriter from Jaipur, India. Currently based in Los Angeles-based, Aditya is known for his diverse portfolio, which includes documentaries, series pilots, and short films.

His films have received international recognition, with screenings at prestigious venues such as the Cannes Film Festival and MTV.

Aditya is working on a highly anticipated sci-fi film project set exclusively in Jaipur, Rajasthan. He is an eloquent speaker, a talented director, and so much more.

Aditya J Patwardhan

Some of his famous works include:

  • Nomad River— a gripping and experimental movie about four contrasting individuals who embark on a personal journey amid the looming threat of climate change and a river water crisis in India.
  • Transference —an American thriller about how a trauma therapist’s past demons come to light, forcing her to confront them.
  • And the Dream that Mattered — a Korean drama about an Asian actor on the rise to Hollywood fame, returns to Korea, where he finds reconnecting with family more challenging than he expected. He also realizes that his future creative path will be a lonely one.
  • Web of Life— an American commercial drama about two siblings with disparate lifestyles — a surfer and an academic. They must come together and grow against the convoluted schemes of a local con artist who has become a cult leader.

Pravasi Bharatiya Divas

In Conversation with Filmmaker Aditya J Patwardhan (AJP)

Indo Thai News  Special Correspondent Abhimanshu caught up with this young and vibrant director on the sidelines of PBD 2023 at Indore, India. Excerpts from the conversation:

ITN: How would you describe your experience at PBD 2023 thus far?

AJP: The experience has been amazing, it’s been half an hour in the convention centre, and I am meeting amazing people right away.

ITN: Tell us a little about yourself.

AJP: I was born and brought up in Jaipur (Rajasthan). I have been in LA (Los Angeles) for the past eight years and have been working as a film director there. I make films both types of movies. For instance, four of my movies are out; two are commercial, and two are artsy.

ITN: Where did you start your career? 

AJP: I started my career in LA. Thus I do not have much exposure to the Indian film industry. As with any industry, the film industry is more or less the same in both places, the cultural context differs, but from an overall perspective, everything else is similar.

ITN: Did you move to LA for career or academic pursuits?

AJP: Since I do not come from a film background, I joined a ten-month filmmaking course in LA to learn the skills. After the course, I just kept working.

Pravasi Bharatiya Divas 2023

ITN: Is there a defined path for outsiders to make it in the film industry?

AJP: The film industry is not streamlined, so there is no defined path to success. The struggle in any art field is long, but with the help of modern technology, it has become easier for outsiders to make movies. So you do not need to be part of the film industry or that ladder to make your first film.

One of the best ways is to start making movies with whatever ideas you have. Film festivals are open to all and not restricted to any particular class, so if you make something good, you will get recognition.

ITN: How to set a benchmark for making a good movie?

AJP: A good film originates from good writing and ideas. Anything we see on screen is first presented through a script. You have to read good scripts and watch good movies because you might have innate talent, but there is a technique to filmmaking or scriptwriting or how the story is structured.

The age-old techniques that have been working since Ramayana or Mahabharata tell us how to structure your story that appeal to your audience.

ITN: Which movies would you recommend to someone just starting?

AJP: Films of Stanley Kubrick, Alfred Hitchcock, Christopher Nolan, David Fincher, and Steven Spielberg. They are one of the most popular names people usually take.

One might say that these are clichéd names, but everyone takes them because their stories, whatever the genre, are very appealing, so it’s best to learn from them.

ITN: What are your favourite go-to movies?

AJP: The Godfather, The Matrix, The Lion King, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, The Lord of the Rings and Duel.

These are some of the simplest movies that you should watch. It will give you basic filmmaking science. You can learn a lot from these movies and understand how the process of filmmaking.

ITN: What is your opinion about adapting a book into a film?

AJP: The Lord of the Rings is one of my favourite movies, and I also loved the book. It is one of the finest examples of bringing a book onto the screen.

Sir Peter Jackson beautifully adapted J. R. R. Tolkien’s epic into a film and did justice to it. He couldn’t incorporate everything, so he took out what he had to and kept what he could.

Apart from the fantasy and everything the movie includes, The Lord of the Rings is a film school.

Read the book and then watch the movie. It will give you an understanding of what parts were excluded from the film more importantly, why Sir Peter Jackson left certain details out. It is a very good lesson in filmmaking.

17th PBD 2023

ITN: Please tell us about your upcoming venture.

AJP: The Web of Life is my recent film that was filmed with Corbin Bernsen and Aaron Douglas as the leads. You might know them from LA Law and Battlestar Galactica. They have appeared in many US shows and movies. The Web of Life is in the editing phase, and the film should be out in July.

Another feature I am working on is supposed to come out in September, but I cannot reveal  much about it now.

ITN: Are you planning to shoot any films in India?

AJP: An upcoming film I am producing is a sci-fi movie. It is in its nascent pre-production stage and will be set in Jaipur. We plan to keep it completely Jaipur based, even away from Mumbai.

Stay tuned to Indo Thai News and enjoy our PBD 2023 exclusive interview series.

Four must-read articles for complete information on Pravasi Bharatiya Divas 2023

Indore — Dressed Up for 17th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas.

17th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas 2023 – Indore Day 1.

The 17th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas— Day 2:A Mixed Day.

17th PBD 2023-Day 3: President of India Graces the Event.

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