by Nick Christophers, Journalist / Author

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In the business of filmmaking, it is a competitive and sometimes a difficult road to take. Many have taken their stab at the art, but few can truly create amazing work. Filmmaker, Akahata Honnavar, has cut her way into the industry with much success. For the past few years, she has made strides in the industry with over 20 projects under her belt. Being raised in a film loving family it did not take long for her to find filmmaking interesting. She would eventually become a producer / assistant director on many projects.

Akahata was deeply influenced by Formalism and its manifestations. She always saw the camera, lights, sound, editing as a tool to transform or elevate the scenes and deliver surprise, suspense, serendipity and much more. Even though cinema has moved into streaming sites, she believes it is merely a vehicle that the content will still drive audiences to watch or experience cinema. She hopes that her projects can capture the original magic that films once produced.

Akahata has approached filmmaking as an instrument of social change. Italian Neorealism is one type of cinema that had left an impression on her especially after taking in the film "Bicycle Thieves" by Vittorio De Sica. One of her favorite projects she has worked on was the short entitled "A Story Called Life" which she completed in 2020. That specific film won a few awards notably at the NY International Film Awards, the NY Movie Awards for "Best Super Short Film" and won the prestigious award in India "Dada Saheb Phalke Award". The Dadasaheb Phalke Award is India's highest award in the field of cinema. It is presented annually at the National Film Awards ceremony by the Directorate of Film Festivals, an organization set up by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. It also was an official selection in many other festivals. The project showcases real people on the streets with their thoughts expressed through an engaging spoken narrative. It begins in a somber mood but ends up inspirational.

"A Story Called Life" is about inspired moments that define life. During the making of the film, I spoke to a lot of people about my concept. Few of them were kind enough to share their intimate stories and personal journeys. The crux of my 2-minute film is that each one of us has an untold story. Ups and downs are a part of every journey. Comparisons do not make us better. We must write our stories the way we live them. And when we read our story again, the true joy it will bring us will be beyond any comparison."

She recently completed a feature length film as a producer which is based in the US and her native India. It is a family-based project between a father and his loving daughter and how they face a threat to the family and their well-being. Akahata has also been recognized by the Hollywood International Golden Age Festival, Sweden Film Festival and Miami Indie Film Festival as an innovative filmmaker. Another of her projects "Life in Covid" was a semifinalist at one of the top festivals in Korea.

Presently, she is working on a few small projects in 2021 a TV series called "Chase" (9 episodes), a TV pilot "Buda" (which is in pre-production) and is developing content for the Bhakti Center called "Rise Masterclass". Akahata has advanced exponentially in just a few years and has become a staple on the US cinema scene and will only grow from here on out.

"The most fascinating part about creating cinema to me is how one can play with space and time, light, and darkness, sounds and silence, the negative and the positive. I like exploring the spaces between the opposites. It is about creating life that doesn't exist in a world that may or may not exist too. I am extremely fascinated by what the film doesn't say and yet conveys it to through symbolism and analogies. As Robert Altman says, 'filmmaking is a chance to live many lifetimes. I live and relive a film in the theatre of my mind many times before it unfolds on the screen."

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