Envisioning Possibilities : the tangible tale of a blind film maker
by Anand Kulkarni on Friday, August 25, 2017
- Interactive Media & Cinema
- Session type
- Technical level
Today is a phenomenal time to be alive. In a world exploding with opportunities, technology is redefining the impossible everyday. One such story is of an award winning Writer-Director - perhaps the only one from India - who makes ad films & independent cinema for a living and is technically blind. For a medium that is innately visual and inherently demanding at that, it is something to wonder as to how a blind guy does it every day. The purpose of this talk is neither to inspire, nor to enlighten. Rather, its a gentle reminder of the amazing potential and value every human being has. At a time when tech and business are sky rocketing, this story hopes to widen our horizons on matters of inclusivity, accessibility and employability of the Differently abled and perhaps shift the public attitude from ‘sympathy’ and ‘accommodation’, to ‘synergy’ and ‘exploration’.
Well, my talk would revolve around my own stories and lessons and about how I manage to film with my eyes closed :P Being visually impaired is the best thing that has ever happened to me. It has helped me become a better film maker and a sharper Producer/Entrepreneur. Turning a blind eye to things that dont matter helps us focuss on things that do… in a very tangible way. I would perhaps begin with , “And thats what triggered me to talk with you today at the Goa project…” and move backwards.. . While I want to share a fresh perspective on things like inclusivity and accessibility, it would feel like sharing a beer :) And I promise to keep you entertained all along.
Approximately at the age of 7, I, like my elder brother, was diagnosed with a very rare eyesight disorder called macular dystrophy. I gradually lost my sight and today it stands at less than 5% or what is called legally blind - eye sight too week to evaluate medically. During my Bachelor’s in mass media, I fell in love with the magic of film making and after topping the University of Mumbai, called it a day on education and stepped into ad film making. Because I had no idea who or why someone would give me a job, I started my company Flop Films - India’s First and only Digital Video Agency.
Fast forward 3 years and today, I have been fortunate to have directed the likes of Naseeruddin Shah, Boman Irani, Farhan Akhtar, worked with coveted agencies like Ogilvy (who officially declared me and my team to be one of the best they’ve ever worked with), Mahindra, Axis Bank, Sleek by Asian paints, Sennheiser, harley Davidson and many many more. My independent film with Naseeruddin shah titled ‘All is Well’ has one 2 state level and 1 international award just last year and my very first DVC for Axis mutual Funds was nominated at the ABBYs 2016 - there by recognising it as one of the best in the country.
Recently, I was the associate producer on a Turkish TV show, leading a unit of over 500 people in the India leg of the productions. I am meddling with ideas of Ai and automation in production, casting, distribution etc and prepping myself to step into the exciting world of VR.
A lot of my work can be found on my website www.flopfilms.in and Vimeo channel at www.vimeo.com/flopfilms