Hari Krishna Bhandari grew up reading comic books and watching cartoon shows on TV — like all the kids of his time. He spent a lot of his free time sketching, hoping to someday create a character like Superman. During his summer vacations, he would visit his grandparents in Gadwal district, returning with a vast collection of stories about the village to recount to his friends.
“Maybe that was when my intention to tell stories through films took seed. I went on to complete a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science, but I always had an interest in films. I tried to connect with people from the Telugu film industry but realised that it was a veritable ocean, a goal beyond my reach. Once I got a job, I started making short films with my own money. I suffered quite a few losses in this journey of filmmaking, inexperienced as I was. And I started understanding that I needed good equipment, a professional team of technicians, and qualified actors to move forward in the right direction,” Bhandari says.
When he expressed a desire to pursue filmmaking more seriously, his sister Shirisha used her first salary to buy him a DSLR camera. “I started experimenting with that camera, shooting things at random. When the Department of Culture announced its short film festival, I wrote a script within ten days, put a professional team in place, and started making the film. All the shooting, editing and music arrangement was completed in a week,” the filmmaker says.
His entry to the festival, a short film titled Love Letter, has won the runner-up award in the best film category at Avatharana Filmotsavam.
Talking about his experience participating in a short film festival for the first time, Bhandari says, “It has given me an opportunity to meet several young actors, filmmakers and technicians. I am deeply inspired by Tamil director Mysskin’s work. His films employ creative cinematic techniques and they have a maturity to them — an ability to connect with people. I have also been able to meet some wonderful short filmmakers from Iran.” he says.
The filmmaker is very optimistic about the future of short films in Hyderabad. “We need to watch more world cinema, and not restrict to regional entertainment,” he says. Talking about his own plans for the future, he adds, “I plan to make more short films, with a bigger team, to get a feel of large-scale filmmaking. Finances are an important consideration for such projects and I have a group of people who believe in my work. Apart from that, I also want to explore platforms such as affiliate marketing, in which products and brands are showcased in a film. But there has to be a balance between finances and creativity,” he says, signing off.