Tharun Bhascker Dhassyam is stepping foot into the big leagues as he prepares to work on his first feature film

In the 20-something circle in the city, the name Tharun Bhascker Dhassyam is well received. The 25-year-old film-maker along with his team at Vinoothna Geetha is gearing up to start the casting process for his feature film. He is rather tight-lipped about the film, but upon further prodding, he reveals that it is a film about college students. “I can’t tell you any thing more,” he shrugs.

Tharun is an artist as well, he has won over 85 awards in art and he is a certified tabla artist. This relationship with art and music is what propelled him into exploring a visual medium. He decided to get into film-making when he made a small AV for his farewell at school. “When I look back, I know it was the technically worst thing I could ever do, but it was humbling to see the impact a visual medium had on people and I knew I had to explore it,” he says. Tharun confesses to falling for peer-pressure and doing engineering. “I thought there was no other option,” he laughs. A self-taught film-maker, most of Tharun’s expertise in the area comes from reading up online, experimenting. “The only course I took was a one month NYFA course in Mumbai. It has been mostly DIY kits. Come to think of it, the learning never stopped,” he says. A self-effacing attitude also shows through the fact that he built his film-making business on his own. The various people he met while making short films is how he founded the team at Vinoothna Geetha who make corporate films, earn a few bucks and support their craft of short filmmaking. Tharun’s film, Journey about passions, dreams and aspirations got shortlisted for last year’s Imphal film festival. Their short film Anukokunda, won for the 48 hour project last yearAnukokunda; in fact Tharun attributes a lot of his current success to that short film. “It changed everything, it brought us together as team. Everyone who helped in the film has landed good jobs in the film industry, our lead actor, Ritu Verma has already signed a few films. We landed our feature film project because of this film,” says Tharun. Short films are changing Telugu films in a big way, like how Love Failure was based on an original short film. Tharun is very aware of this trend, “When you generate content online, you are greatly personalising the experience; entertainment is coming to you. People want more variety and that is what short film makers are offering,” he adds.

Tharun Bhascker hopes to bring sophisticated visual narratives to the Telugu film industry. “I am making a place for myself from scratch and I have a certain idea about how films should be,” says Tharun who believes that what is called art is supposed to be mainstream cinema. “Films should be story-oriented, not celebrity oriented,” he says. At some point, he feels that filmmakers should only call themselves artists because you have to be honest to an expression.