A film about modern-day India. The lives of a billion people. Their story, their hopes, aspirations and transformations. A fine balance between inherent spirituality and India’s giant leap towards progress.
Alchemy was an official selection of NFFTY 2014 and won the Jury Award for Best Experimental Film.
Film of the Week is presented by Volvo Cars of North America.
About the director:
Creating quirky characters, telling stories and bringing ideas to life, excites me! Passionate about film, I am Pranay Patwardhan, a film director and illustrator with love for art, food and sport. Currently based in Shenzhen, China, I was born in Mumbai and grew up in Pune, India, with a fascinating childhood filled with model cars, sci-fi films , video games and lego bricks. I studied animation from the ‘Maya Academy of Advanced Cinematics (MAAC)’, before graduating from ‘Supinfocom, India’ as the valedictorian in May, 2012. Combining cultural influences with modern technique whilst directing, designing and working on award winning TV series, short films, music videos and visualizations has been a challenging and extremely fun filled experience. I have had the opportunity of collaborating with many talented and amazing people, creating visual experiences that have been warmly acknowledged by audiences around the world. Eager to travel, I have been fortunate to experience various cultures, traditions and meet wonderful people. I hope to continue this fabulous journey of discovery and tell unique stories along the way!
NFFTY spoke with Pranay about his work on the film.
Q: What inspired you to portray India in this mix of music, animation and live action?
Living and growing up in India, a country rich in terms of its history, culture, heritage, traditions and diversity has been a fascinating experience. Inspired by the poetry of spoken word artist ‘Shane Solanki’, Alchemy is a culmination of various personal experiences of all the artists and musicians involved in the project, as they witness India’s giant leap towards progress through the transformation, change and spread of people and cities around them.
Q: How did you come into contact with the music artist?
‘Bandish Projekt’ have been creating an exciting blend of electronic-folk music. A couple of my friends had the chance to meet them and discuss their ideas and style of music. Discussing art, listening to a few previously recorded tracks and some friendly chats over the course of a few weeks led to our collaboration.
Q: What was the biggest challenge in putting this film together?
The poetry that drives the film portrays a massive range of thoughts, ideas and opinions. Representing all of this in a cohesive way, much like the poetry itself without the visuals overpowering the song and music was one of the biggest challenges. Mixing various mediums like animation, live-action and illustration and planning for this was also challenging, but it turned out to be the most creative, experimental and satisfying stage of production.
Q: Are you working on any new projects?
Yes, I am currently working on a visualization for a track by Austria based music artist (and good friend) ‘TinyType’, who I have had the great opportunity of collaborating with previously. The past few months have been quite packed. I have been working on commercials, shorts and games for the local market here in China. Here’s a link to a video that I worked on a few months earlier. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=12cMhgZ6SVY
Q: How has your participation in NFFTY helped you grow as a filmmaker?
Being at or being connected to the festival and friends around the year is always a happy feeling. Inspirational, it has motivated me to share and learn from fellow film-makers, professionals and enthusiastic audiences about our common passion for film.