Hyderabad: N. Vivek Rao Nipani, a 26-year-old filmmaker from Hyderabad, reminisces the time he spent “snacking at Saba café at Trimulgherry crossroads and drinking chai with ‘tie biscuit’ and eating keema roti at Lamakaan and discussing films with total strangers”.
Eventually, it was his love for films that drove him to leave the comfort of home and enrol in Loyola Marymount University (LMU), California.
“I have lived in Hyderabad for 21 years. I moved out of home to learn filmmaking right after my bachelor’s degree from Loyola Academy, Alwal. After pursuing a one-year film diploma from the University of Mumbai, I decided to apply for my Masters at LMU after spending few years working in Bollywood,” he says.
Vivek has produced-directed a 20-minute documentary, Jassu aur Devu: A Tale of Two Veils, as part of his final year thesis project, which revolves around two women fighting the odds of patriarchy and striving for better lives.
“I am a feminist; I discovered this about myself recently at LMU. But thinking back, the women I look up to, my mother, sister and grandmother, have always had a strong influence on my life. They are an independent and a resolute group, who’ve have taught me to be compassionate yet brave,” says Vivek.
The team working on this documentary has been diverse and Vivek has “had inputs from people belonging to India, Pakistan, Lithuania, China, Taiwan and the USA”. “It took me about six months in pre-production, including a 45-day recce and character outreach in Rajasthan.
The principal photography was for 15 days. Being in LA and in film school, you get the opportunity to meet and work with people who’ve done some amazing work, including Academy Award winners Han Zimmer, Alfonso Cuaron, Sherry Lansing and Michael Mann among a few,” adds Vivek.
With 70 per cent of the documentary shot, Vivek is now faced with the task of raising $5,000. “If we meet our goal then 10 per cent of the entire amount will be donated as fees for one of the girls in the village.
The crowd funding for my projects which is underway at www.ataleoftwoveils.com is quiet as of now. It’s a Catch 22 situation, with crowd funding websites, usually funds come mostly from family and friends, but my family and friends have already helped out as much as they possibly could and thus I’m now reaching out to the people where my humble beginnings were, and I’m hoping that I can get their support,” says Vivek.