Interview With Sidartha Murjani An Award-Winning Film Maker
Interview With Sidartha Murjani An Award Winning Film Maker. Sidartha is a film producer who also won the best film award for his film “Interview” at the Vancouver International South Asian Film Festival. We had a chance to speak to this incredible filmmaker during the event. He is an actor, producer, writer, and director. How can someone have all the acts together? We wanted to know this man more and we had an interview with the maker of “Interview”.
Sidartha Murjani is known for Legion (2017), The-Interview (2018) which he produced, wrote and directed, Menage (2016), The Switch (2016).
A human being from planet earth, acting was never an option growing up. I started in social work before graduating with a degree in economics and then started my own business in Web design. I was always driven to create something with a purpose, something that brings value to people watching or experiencing it. That is when I decided to first pursue acting and then writing and directing followed shortly after.
Being someone who I would say is a hybrid culturally in my thinking, I believe the visual media especially film is one of the most powerful forms of media in today’s world. It can change the audiences emotionally, consciously and way of thinking. That is why I want to make or be in projects that celebrate or give the feeling of joy, love, collaboration, kindness, friendships.
My biggest artistic inspirations include Aamir Khan, Satyajit Ray, Francis Coppola, Sir Ben Kingsley, Amitabh Bachan, Vidya Balan, Meryl Streep, J Guillermo Del Toro, Alejandro González Iñárritu, Mark Ruffalo, Akira Kurosawa, Wong Kar Wai, Dave Chapelle, Kevin Hart, Jim Carrey, Keano Reeves.
Let’s hear what more this man has to say in an interview…..
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I am a storyteller that is interested in being and creating stories that raise human consciousness. I started out in acting but over the past 3 years have created my own work as well.
What is the idea behind your film Interview?
The fundamental question that The Interview asks is ‘Where does happiness come from’? is it from your material wealth? your lover or lovers? what do people think of you? Is that how you value your worth? Based on external validation?
Where do you get inspiration from?
From May 2016 to March 2019 I was traveling between Bali, Indonesia, and India (all over). This is when I realized that I kept setting milestones for myself to achieve certain goals and convinced myself that when I reached those goals I will be happy. However, when I reached those goals the feeling was momentary. So I began to ask myself, how can I live a satisfying, happy life continuously, that is when the idea for the movie The Interview came about.
What are some challenges you face every day as an independent filmmaker?
Probably when and how I am going to make my next project, I am continuously writing scripts, feature, shorts, tv shows and having the patience to realize that each story has its time is a challenge, because ideally, you want to be busy but each story has to be given its deserved attention and not be rushed. Working odd jobs to pay the bills and saving enough can also be a challenge. Even when reaching the final stages of pre-production (getting ready to shoot) nothing can be taken for granted because as an independent filmmaker, there are always so many moving parts.
Tell us about your experience with VISAFF.
I was very pleased with VISAFF, honestly, I did not expect to win the Best North American Short Film, and was ecstatically surprised. The whole festival was great, I attended the whole 3 days and met so many people. The festival director Mannu Sandhu and her team Panzy Sandhu, Raj and Aziz were fantastic, so were the juries Manu Chopra and Bim Narine who are both big names in the film industry, they were easy to talk to and gave me great advice. I also enjoyed the selection of films that were showcased and of course, I got to meet the good people from UrbanAsian :).
How did you get into film making?
I started in Acting from Vancouver Film School in 2014 and then began writing my own content in 2016. I decided that if I don’t create the stories I want to tell or be in, no one else will.
Tell us about your next project….
I am currently working on a TV series about a multi-linguists in an immigration law firm and a comedic short that takes place on valentine’s day.
What does a regular day look for you?
Once I wake up, I meditate to start the day with a blank mind, then I will read some books and practice my language skills (am currently learning French and Japanese) with Duolingo. After a small breakfast, I will write for at least 2 hours and then go do calisthenics (working out in the playground). If I have an audition then I will go for my audition or if I have work that day will go for that. The evening is usually when I watch an episode of a tv or a movie as homework and break down the episode or movie whether I like it or nor and my reasons for feeling that way.
Did you had a mentor?
Not in the traditional sense of the word but there are a lot of people I listen to on a daily basis on the internet. People like Sadhguru, Abraham Hicks, Alan Watts, Eckhart Tolle, Wayne Dyer.
Some words for your audience…
I always want to make films that bring value to your lives, whether it’s a feeling of hope, lightheartedness or makes you think about something. I believe the visual art is one of the most powerful art forms on the planet and as a creator I have the responsibility to add value to your life besides entertaining of course.