Nakshatra Bagwe thinks he is the only Indian filmmaker with maximum LGBT short films and they all are well received. Read on to know more about this talented filmmaker.
Tell us about your life journey in brief?
– Amazing roller coaster it was! I grew up in a middle class Maharashtrian family and I was always an ideal son material until I decided to break the boundaries to go beyond society’s acceptance parameters. Be it entering into this profession with no experience or knowledge or be it openly coming out as a proud gay person in front of the media. These so called ‘bold and gutsy moves’ worked well and now that earlier momma’s boy is now an award winning filmmaker, actor, an activist, India’s first LGBT person to become a brand ambassador and a happening human being.
What prompted you to become a filmmaker?
– Observation! I observe a lot. I observe how people behave, how they speak, react and I try to enter into their minds. I had stored enough observations in my mind and on a sleepless night ‘storage full’ message popped up in my mind and I knew it’s time to utilize all what I’ve observed till now.
Another reason why I entered in filmmaking is to support queer movement in an artistic way. I think, I am the only Indian filmmaker with maximum LGBT short films and they all are well received.
Tell us about your team, if you have?
– Initially, my cast and crew featured me, me, again me and only me! I wrote my scripts, I directed, recorded myself acting there, edited my own films. I could promote well and design film posters for my own films, thanks to my post graduation in advertising, branding and graphics.
Later, my friends join in and now in every new project, I work with a new team. I believe in giving a chance to new talent.
How many/ What kind of movies/ videos you have made?
– I have made 6 shorts highlighting various burning issues of Indian LGBT community. Issues like, social networking, dating, coming out, love life. I have acted in total 11 projects. It includes 3 features (1 film shoot is on and 2 are in the post production phase now), 7 shorts, 1 music video and several documentaries.
What is your dream/ vision?
– Walking the red carpet of Oscar, Cannes or at least Golden Globes and I am not kidding. But generally, I wish to create things which please me and that pleasure of living/creating things on my own terms would put me off to sleep peacefully every night.
What difficulties you face as a filmmaker?
– Independent filmmakers already suffer and if they handle ‘taboo topics’ like LGBT issues than their suffering is double! Earlier, I didn’t have a producer nor many actors. In limited resources, I believe, I created an impact. Now there is no shortage of cast and crew and even producers. I’ve reached that stage, where people want to work with me and it was all about patience.
Making money is an another issue. ‘Short films can also earn revenue’ it’s like an unbelievable fact for them. Breaking stereotypes about short film making, perceptions and bringing commercialism in this type of filmmaking are challenges, atleast for me.
What inspires you or keeps you going?
– I entered this field accidentally. I got enough without any expectation, I got nothing to lose!
My first experimental film ‘Logging Out’ had been just a mere time pass project for me that grabbed me an international award for my debut and screened across the globe. Another thing keeps me going on, is the love of my 5000 fans who continuously love and support me through my fan page.
Any fun/ memorable incident?
– Recently my latest commercial short film ‘When the Circus Came to Town’ has been released. We were shooting in a real circus and I think, I visited a circus after a decade. It was a guerrilla shoot with no breaks and, I had to be in my character all the time. Cameras were far away and one camera caught me taking selfies there. Whenever I see the footage and see my desperation to enjoy the circus, I laugh.
A memorable moment will always be the one when Anupam Kher praised me, my film publicly and getting a call from his office later to know more about my film making style.
What advice you’d like to give to someone who is interested/newbie in filmmaking?
– ‘Excuse the excuses!’ Just go ahead with your plan, don’t push it for next weekend, holiday or summer. Don’t feel discouraged, if you don’t have the technology, man power or finance because imagination is the crucial point. You’ll learn from experience so just tell your tale.
Anything else you’d like to share?
– Yes! I often feel funny when people call me a ‘gay filmmaker/gay actor’. Alright! I make ‘gay films’, I act in ‘gay films’ but we don’t refer others as ‘straight actor’ or ‘straight filmmaker’ then why this ‘special treatment’ to us? I am gay, I create art based on my sexuality and I am proud of it, but let art be an art and let me just be an artist without any label.
Links of Nakshatra’s work
Official Trailer: www.youtube.com/watch?v=X_jwSV3SekE
Behind the Scenes: www.youtube.com/watch?v=83igrLDNoZQ
Coming Out Story: www.youtube.com/watch?v=SWHjLQaiZFc
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