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Filmmaker Series: Tanmay Srivastava

Updated: Aug 7, 2023

Filmmaker series spotlight Tanmay Srivastava
Tanmay Srivastava

Introduce yourself

Hi, I’m Tanmay Srivastava, a filmmaker born and raised in Jabalpur, India. I am currently a high school student, in 12th grade and I’ve been making films since I was 12.

What initially got you into filmmaking?

Tanmay directing
On set

I have a deep interest in the history of the world. I like to study about different cultures and how they evolved. I wanted to share my knowledge of history with people in my community and I found filmmaking as a perfect way of sharing knowledge with people.

That’s how I got into filmmaking and created my first documentary called “The Story Of Clothes", it was about the clothes during the time of the Mughal Empire in India (1526 - 1857). I created it on an iPad mini.

I didn’t have any experience in filmmaking and to this day I’ve never been to a film school so at first I was afraid that how am I, a kid from a small town in India, that I could make a film, but then because of my passion in history and with the support from my incredible parents, I was able to make "The Story Of Clothes" and share it with the people.

Who are your biggest influences and why?

Christopher Nolan is one of them because of his way of telling stories. His stories keep the audience curious 'til the end about the things in the film, through heart-touching music, scenes and action that are just mind blowing. That is something I learned from him and have used his technique in some of my documentaries which turned out to be very successful and are very much liked by people.

How important is film as a medium and art form in the world, today?

Film is very important. I’ve always found it as a second school, people learn a lot of things from films whether it's about science, politics, business, etc. It’s something that entertains and teaches, and in today’s world, many people, mostly the younger generation turn to cinema for knowledge rather than books.

So I do believe that film is very important as a medium and art form in the world today.

Do you have a set process when making film?

I love hearing and telling stories. I have had a reputation in school as an interesting storyteller from kindergarten. I love to talk to people from different areas of the world and listen to their stories, most of them are so fascinating that one can’t have words to describe it.

What has been your favourite film to work on and why?

A child carrying a large sack on their head
90 Days to Leave film poster

I would say it’s a 2 way tie between "90 Days To Leave" and "The White Mughal: Love & Betrayal in British India". Both of these films were about something which is completely forgotten by the people.

"The White Mughal" is about a love affair between a British army officer and a Muslim noblewoman in 17th century India, it looks like a fiction story but it’s a very true and heart-touching story which the world has forgotten.

"90 Days To Leave" is a film about the Asian expulsion from the African nation of Uganda in the 1970s. It was one of the biggest expulsions in history and it’s a very interesting story. It tells about how a community took control over a country’s economy and how they managed to escape concentration camps during such a short period of time during their expulsion.

Which genre do you enjoy working in?

I would say historical and science fiction. I haven’t got a chance to work on a science fiction movie yet but I very much would like to work on one because I am very much interested in it and am deeply curious about it.

What is your definition of success?

Success comes when you do something you love and something you’re passionate about.

What advice can you give our readers, should they wish to pursue filmmaking?

Get in touch with creative people in the film industry. Go to film festivals and film screenings to meet these people and talk to them about your ideas, the most important thing I believe to be successful in the line of filmmaking is to have connections with innovative people who can support you in such a field.

Do you ever suffer from creative burnout? How do you combat it?

Of course. Filmmaking is no doubt a pretty stressful field and one must have a positive mindset because almost every filmmaker goes through ups and downs but if you have a positive mindset and faith in yourself and your passion then you can get through these ups and downs and succeed in the field.

What projects are you currently working on?

Award ceremony presentation of award
Tanmay receiving his award

I’ve recently completed "90 Days To Leave".

I’ve also recently worked as the assistant director and editor for a short research documentary called "Voices Of The Dead", which is about the Scottish cemetery in the city of Kolkata in India. It also tells about the women buried there and their contribution to the city.

What are your hopes for the future?

I hope to work on more projects and even feature films in the future. Now, I plan to go to college and study film and history and get more knowledge of this field and many more things.

Lastly where can people find you?

Are you a filmmaker? Want to be interviewed? Please get in touch and fill out your contact details;

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