The Bigger Picture-Pranav Pingle talks with You & I

This out-and-out Hyderabadi boy’s passion and sensitivity towards life and humanity are a refreshing change from others his age who’re chasing passionless jobs. A young filmmaker, Pranav derives satisfaction from being able to give audiences a window into the myriad interesting lives he encounters.

Was filmmaking always your chosen path?
Filmmaking has been in my DNA, and I’ve had a passion for it ever since my father piqued my interest in the subject. I studied for a master’s in film and television production from the University of Bristol, England, specialising in cinematography, production and direction. During my stint there, I was involved in the production of around 15 short films, assuming the roles of director, actor, cinematographer and producer.

When I returned to Hyderabad, I set up Mirage Media, a media production house that creates film and television content. Recently, I directed a documentary that shines light on a sector of society that doesn’t often find itself among the headlines today. Sivananda – A Home Away from Home, is a story of leprosy patients, and a community that heals through love. The documentary has been selected for a handful of film festivals around the world, including the Brightside Tavern Film Festival. I have also shot some ads for Goa Tourism and the Telangana Rowing Association. After that, was my project for the Mahavir Jain Dialysis Centre. Currently I’m working on a documentary on the refugee crisis in a third-world country dominated by Buddhists. Simultaneously, I’m part of a group researching the year 1968 – in India and the rest of the world – filming interesting experiences and journeys with people from every corner of it.

What’s the most exciting part of your work?
From the very beginning, my focus has been on working with parts of humanity that have not been given enough light. What I try to achieve through my work is to open the minds of everyone around me – to things that we’re not used to seeing in our day-to-day lives. That brought me to work with the most incredible people – privileged or not. All of them taught us that there’s so much more to life beyond money, beyond power, beyond luxury. The will to live, the power of hope, the need to succeed in love and happiness, and a reason to live – these are the things that bring the world together. They are what it a better place to live in. Just being able to give the world a little pinch of this is what makes my work the most important and exciting part of my life.

What are your other interests?
Whenever I get the time, I love doing sports – particularly football and cricket. But to truly unwind, I take a 10-day break every few months to ride my bike into the mountains.  

Any advice for filmmakers in the making?
When you’re building a company on your own two feet, it’s important to find the right people to walk the journey with. Trustworthy, honest and, most importantly, likeminded people are a boon to have. Once you’ve got a grip on that, there’s no stopping you from flying.

What’s next on the cards?
Film is an extremely influential medium of communication, and that’s exactly why I focus on subjects that make a difference. My next few steps are to broaden my horizons as a filmmaker, by getting in touch with more likeminded people – those who look at the bigger picture and, like us, work to bring about positive changes to the world, in any way we can. I am extremely grateful to be working with a fantastic team. They help make everything possible; they are there with me through all the ups and downs.         – as told to Suneela