Posted on 19 Feb, 2019 12:00 pm

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Interview with  Kaustav Debnath

1. Q What do you call yourself? Any Nick names or Industry name? 
    A. I call myself by my own name, Kaustav but some people find it difficult to pronounce and hence they come up with their own nicknames for me such as Costume, Gustav or KD (the last one being my favourite)

2. Q You are good at? In one words.
    A. Film making is my passion and though I don't know what I am good at I can say what I enjoy doing the most. Film Direction is what gives me utmost happiness and I feel comfortable writing my own screenplay. My upcoming short film is written and directed by me and currently I am struggling to get it released. I must add, that most people know me as a production designer and since the last 3 years this particular skill or gift has earned me my bread and butter to survive in Mumbai; needless to say it has also helped in keeping the creative person alive in me.

3. Q What triggered your passion to enter in showbiz? 
    A. As a Bengali growing up in Kolkata, it has been Ray's films which kindled in me an undying love and inquisitiveness to learn the art of film making. I am an engineer, or more specifically a B.Tech grad terrible in anything related to engineering. Having no formal training or exposure to the film industry, I entered the showbiz like any other kid enters into it these days; with a dslr and high speed internet connection. It all started with making YouTube videos and then when I realized that YouTube videos and Cinema are in two separate worlds I decided to come to Mumbai and learn it from the greats or at least amidst them. Btw, I should add that though the Kolkata Industry was always right there, as a kid I had always had the dream to work in Mumbai, and hence my reason to work in the Hindi film Industry.

4. Q Define your struggle in few lines (mention your background, years of struggle and approx.                    no of projects you did) 
     A. I think I have had and am continuing to have my fair share of struggle. But overall Mumbai has treated me well and I feel, compared to other struggling stories involving extremely bad incidents, my journey has been smooth and rough in its own way. The meaning of struggle is not very specifically defined. I always used to feel that making a film would be the hardest thing but it isn't; nowadays anyone can make a film but getting it released is where I came to realize the term 'struggle'

5. Q Is this you always wanted to be? (Yes or No). 
    A. I have always wanted to have the monetary and creative freedom to express my artistic views, be it by art directing a film set or by directing a film. I guess there have been episodes in my very short career till date when I have felt like I am living the time of my life, but those episodes have been very less. Most of the time, someone or the other has tried to rip off the creative freedom from my job. So I guess, to be what I want to be, it is going to take some longer time.

6. Q That one pain you would never want to encounter again (in few sentences) : 
    A. ---

7. Q Your first major break : 
    A. Waiting for it.

8. Q Your best assignment so far (also explain why) :
    A. Directing my short film, "Aajkal ki Aurtein!" It has given me incomparable amount of joy to have worked with the stalwart Raghubir Yadav along with the talented ladies Palomi Ghosh and Namya Saxena. The independently produced film is yet to be released.

9. Q Your industry idol (Indian or Non-Indian)
     A. Anurag Kashyap for the bold choices he has made in his life and also for proving that the Indian audience is mature enough to watch quality content, provided it is being Made. Thanks to him, the Hindi film industry now has a widespread list of healthy options against the easily available junk.

10. Q. Latest project you are working on 
      A. It's a web series based on a true story. Going through the same old industry standard "struggle" of finding investors for my project. My short film "Aajkal ki Aurtein!" is all set to be released for unpaid viewing in social media privided it meets a part of its Production budget. The film is being crowdfunded and I need help from the industry for the same. You can go through the campaign link over here:

11. Q What’s new that you recently acquired (equipment, skill, network etc.)
      A. ---

12. Q One tip for upcoming talents
      A. ---

13. Q One improvement you want to see in the industry 
       A. The industry needs to accept new comers with more warmth. Due to the rise of digital media now the Industry is overflowing with low budget projects and thus new comers are being accepted, the reason being, "it's easy to exploit the new kid in the block." I find many experienced people finding it difficult to work with young crew members in leading roles. Well, I guess they have to swallow their pride and accept it that times are changing and the youths of our industry are the changing faces of the film fraternity.

14. Q One question you always wanted to ask the industry
      A. Why do you like investing in formula based ideas or successful creative experiments? Why does a new idea need to show a market test before being implemented?

15. Q Your vision for the showbiz industry 
      A. ---

16. One person you would like to help from showbiz or talent fraternity (for once in your life)
      A. Soumalya Chaterjee, a talented friend of mine, struggling to tell his stories to the world.

a. Mention that person’s email id (optional)
      A. ---

b. Message to that person in one line
      A. Don't worry, less are the days to be big. Tera time ayga!

17. Q Finally – Are you Happy with whatever you have achieved? (Yes or No)  
      A. ---