From assisting in the making of milk products to assisting in the making of feature films to weaving his own cinematic stories, Hardik Mehta has definitely come a long way.
Hardik Mehta was thinking aloud about his life’s calling while undertaking a course in Dairy Technology. Being an average student and no family business he could latch onto, he thought hard about what he wanted to do until a chance encounter with a professor in an institute introduced him to world cinema. It opened up his mind into a world of possibilities, into a world of story telling through films.
It was then he decided that he had to go to the city of celluloid, Mumbai to weave his own celluloid dreams. Initially, The city never embraces you completely. We all have to go through the initial struggle and the period where you have to prove
yourself, says Hardik. So Hardik went under the umbrage of Dev Benegal, the indie director who had offered his unique contribution to Indian Indie with English August. Hardik proved himself as a Production Assistant through
diligence and intelligence. His drive and ambition would later take him to Phantom Films, where he proved his mettle working as an assistant to Vikramaditya Motwane on the movie, Lootera. Vikram really took him under his wings and mentored him to become a true cineaste with his training.
Hardik possessed another trait, which by now has become a necessity for emerging filmmakers. He had a real good knack for writing scripts and spotting faultlines in already written screenplays. This came in handy for Hardik as it elevated him to be the script doctor as well as a co-writer for the screenplay of Trapped. The film’s screenplay had garnered appreciation and it was a turning point for Hardik in his life as a filmmaker.
Having proved his writing skills, he decided to pitch Vikram an idea for a film. But Vikram hesitated, saying ‘How can I pitch your project to the company when you haven’t directed a single piece of work. Go make something which I can show to the partners in Phantom Films.’
By that time Hardik was partly working on a project on Kite Flying in Ahmedabad, a topic that had kindled his interest after a friend mentioned that there’s been no interesting documentary made on Kite Flying in India. Hardik assembled a small crew and put in his own money to fund a documentary, Amdavad ma Famous, a documentary that’s not only won the National Award for Best Non-Feature Film in 2015 but has the unique acclaim for being a rare short film on the digital platform, Netflix as the platform doesn’t really acquire any short film content.
Hardik also decided to make a short film just to get his hands dirty for a fiction film with his widely watched short film, The Affair. Hardik himself produced the short film. It was a meeting with Manish Mundra for a feature project that the much-touted Indie Producer liked the film so much that he decided to present it under the banner of Drishyam Fims.
It’s never easy being a filmmaker anywhere in the world but Hardik Mehta has a unique knack of observing the world a little differently like eager filmmakers do but it’s his openness to film making and not being compartmentalized to a genre director has probably made the city much more welcoming to his celluloid dreams.
Amdavad Ma Famous is now streaming on Netflix.