I’d also love to hear about a past project you’d worked on: the film collective called ARTH. Could you tell us why and how it began?
After I completed my BA in 2017, I was frankly quite lost as it was devastating to leave Manipal and my friends. Manipal is a very tiny town, isolated from the burden of city life and grounded within a sense of community. Having lived that life for a while, I was in shock when I moved to one of the metropolitan cities in India for my first job two months after graduating. Even though it was great to work as a photographer and graphic designer, I struggled with city life and felt like I hit a wall after working there for a bit. All the juvenile and innocent ideas I had about making art and shaping my life through it just came crumbling down, so I eventually left.
After that, I got a freelance gig through a colleague to cover a racing event in a remote Indian town. We both realised we could do this ‘freelancing thing’ on our own terms, and that it gave us time to ourselves where we could make our own stuff. So, along with another friend, we later decided to form a film collective called ARTH.
We would get called for filming or editing work by people in our extended networks, who were all working in different companies in Bangalore. Soon, we started working on really low budget commercials, event films, corporate films for a roster of brands – like Groww, Walmart Labs, Skore Condoms and Echoes of Earth, among others – while trying to develop our own aesthetic and visual language through these projects. Alongside doing this, we were also travelling around India to film short documentaries and artist films, where we further collaborated with many multidisciplinary creatives. I am extremely grateful for this phase in my life as it really deepened my understanding and desire for filmmaking.