Raj Rohit Reddy with Ruth E. Carter
After attaining his master’s degree in science in the United States in 2008, Hyderabad’s Raj Rohit Reddy spent a few years working in New York and Missouri. Eventually, however, he quit his lucrative job in IT to pursue his passion for filmmaking. Subsequently, he relocated to Los Angeles to turn his dream into a reality.
"Good cinema has fascinated me since childhood. And since Hollywood happens to be the heart of the global film industry, I figured it would be the right place to begin. After moving to LA, I met several filmmakers, and they inspired me a great deal. Thereafter, I embarked on my journey," Rohit explained.
Without any formal training, Rohit wrote and directed two short films, How Does That Make You Feel? and The Shrink. While the former won an award for the Best Short Film (2018) at Mindfield Film Festival and went on to become Berlin Flash Film Festival’s Official Selection (2018), the latter won the Best Fiction (2016/2018) award at the 12-month Film Festival and ended up as the Official Selection (2018) at the Los Angeles Cine Fest. Further, at the Indie Night Festival held in March 2019, How Does That Make You Feel? went on to become the first ever short film by an Indian, to be screened at the TCL Chinese Theatre in Hollywood.
"I was elated. It was perhaps the most significant moment of my life. Academy Award Winner Ruth E. Carter and Emmy Award Winners Robi Reed and Guneet Monga were invited to grace the screening as chief guests. Both Ruth and Robi appreciated my work. We later discussed the technicalities of writing and directing. It felt great!" Rohit said.
The 32-year-old further added that working on short films has helped him gain a deeper insight into the world of filmmaking. "I met a ton of filmmakers in LA who were working on short films then, so I started with assisting them with editing, screenwriting, and cinematography. And that is where it all began. It has been an interesting journey so far."
Buoyed by the recognition and awards that he has landed so far, Rohit has taken up a full-time course at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) to polish his moviemaking skills.
Rohit believes that his efforts will pay when its time to make a feature film. "I now understand budgets, location, casting, and the various other aspects of filmmaking on a much deeper level." Rohit also happens to be a Telugu cinema aficionado. "My goal is to direct a Telugu film, but I shall take that up only after I complete my filmmaking course," he signs off.