A number of youngsters from the state are making it big in Bollywood at a time the local film industry is going through a rough patch.
A recent addition to this list is Sisir Kumar Sahu, an assistant director to Ashutosh Gowariker in Mohenjo Daro.
Sisir Sahu with assistant directors team | Courtesy: Sisir Sahu (Facebook)
Sahu has worked with Shyam Benegal in a 10-part television series on the making of the Indian Constitution for Rajya Sabha TV. He was also an assistant director to Chandraprakash Dwivedi of Pinjar fame in the 2014 film Zed Plus.
Sahu’s journey from the village of Binjhabhal in Keonjhar to Mumbai was one of perseverance and patience. In 2012, after passing out from Biju Patnaik Film & Television Institute in Cuttack, he moved to Mumbai to try his luck.
“The scope that Bollywood offers is huge. But it is also true that getting an opportunity there is equally difficult. I started out by collecting contacts from my Odia friends in the industry and messaging people. In many cases, the reply came after months and in most cases, my messages went unanswered. I also began to attend events to get to know people,” said Sahu, who took up part-time jobs to survive in Mumbai.
“I lived in a cramped room and there was no one I could confide in. I could not tell my family because they would be worried. There were also moments of extreme frustration,” said Sahu, who has also assisted Gowariker in the popular television show Everest.
What kept him going was his passion for film direction.
“You need patience to get yourself settled in Mumbai. Nothing happens there overnight for people without any background in the industry,” said Sahu, who got his first break after a year in the city with Benegal’s TV show.
Speaking about his experience of working with Gowariker, he said: “He is very sound technically. So, one gets to learn and hone nuances in every aspect of the process. Also, he never treated anyone badly. He used to take everyone’s opinion, be it for a scene or the locales.”
For Sahu, the shooting period was extremely exhaustive.
“The sets were put up in Bhuj in Gujarat where we stayed for more than a year. We had faced every season and each had its own challenges. We used to travel around 30km every day from where we stayed to the shooting location,” he said.
On working with Hrithik Roshan, he said: “Sometimes, after pack up, we played antakshariand it was fun. He was friendly but was moody at the same time.”
Sahu is now working on a documentary on the Raja festival. The shooting for the 50-minute film has begun in Puri. “I want show our culture to the world. I will send the film to various national and international film festivals,” said Sahu.
Courtesy: The Telegraph