Mumbai boy Nishad Choughule will be looking to brush shoulders with the likes of Christopher Nolan, Wes Anderson and Jake Gyllenhaal when he lands in Los Angeles on June 1. After getting a chance to meet his movie-gods over week-long activities of networking, the 26-year-old will walk into the Directors Guild of America (DGA) theatre complex of Hollywood’s Sunset Boulevard to receive an award once given to contemporary Hollywood biggies such as Spike Lee and Robert Zemeckis.
Choughale will be attending the awards as the creative producer for a German short film Border Patrol that has won a position among the top three in the Best Foreign Film category. “It is the highest honour in student filmmaking and it is also a rare opportunity to be able to get a glimpse of Hollywood from inside,” says Choughule, about the 41st Student Oscars, organised by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in the US, established in 1972 to
encourage excellence in filmmaking at the collegiate level.
“As a creative producer of the film, my involvement has been from the inception to the completion, from working with the writer and director to looking after the film’s distribution,” says Choughule who has a masters in filmmaking from the Northern Film School, Leeds Metropolitan University, with a specialisation in creative producing. Border Patrol was made in 2012 as a part of the course.
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The 15-minute film is a black comedy about two German border force officials who discover a dead body in the woods of its Austrian border. To avoid the hassles and paperwork that would follow the discovery of the dead body, they dump it on the other side of the border so that they can enjoy the big football match between the two countries that evening.
Choughule, who is currently working on a few independent films in the UK, is happy to be part of the award-winning film in a role that is gaining credence in the film industry, including India. “Most people go after the more glamorous job of direction or writing, but creative producing gives you a holistic experience with filmmaking, where you’re part of each stage of the filmmaking process, from script development to post-production,” he says. Son of a Marathi film producer with an engineering degree, Choughule’s biggest learning experience working abroad has been collaborating with people from various cultural backgrounds. With a 22-member crew consisting of German writer-director Peter Baumann, a cinematographer from the US and technicians from the UK, the film was shot for a week on the German-Austrian border.