Mentoring is important for budding filmmakers but mentors can’t act like bosses, says Mohit Suri. The filmmaker has mentored budding filmmaker Gautam Sharma for a new digital show HP MTV Fame-istan. Fame-istan will help four aspiring filmmakers make short films, and will get big names from the industry to mentor them. Each month, a mentor will introduce the director of the month. The latter will then feature in a call-for-entry promo — a call out to actors and people who want to be part of their short film.
While promoting the concept, Mohit says, “You can’t be the boss. You have to guide the other person because they have an identity of their own. They are your colleagues and not your juniors They have to make their own decisions and learn. I am there to provide them with opportunities.”
He further adds, “Rather than commanding them, I would tell them how to do it.”
Explaining the concept of Fame-istan further, Mohit says that after the selection of the cast and crew of the movie, the budding filmmaker will be mentored by the experienced makers. “Each short film will have to be completed within a duration of one and half months. Once the movie is shot, we will give the verdict on the film.”
He is highly impressed with Gautam Sharma’s story and says that he makes a relevant point through his film. “I loved Gautam’s idea. His story is very simple. In today’s Twitter and Instagram age, we have forgotten to post letters. Those who are not on social media, are communicating through phone or via emails. No one writes a love letter anymore. The film talks about it.”
This isn’t the first time Mohit has worked with new faces. He says, “I have always worked with newcomers like Kunal Kemmu, Emraan Hashmi and also singers and composers like Ankit Tiwari, Arijit Singh and Mithoon.”
The filmmaker says that as a mentor, his focus will be on storytelling and writing. “Technology has changed and we have to change our style of storytelling accordingly. I believe that as a mentor, it’s my duty to provide filmmakers with a platform and give them opportunities to perform. We have an advantage over budding faces, which is the years of experience we have got. I have shared my experiences and asked them not to repeat the mistakes that I have made.”
Mohit, who has given hit films like Aashiqui 2, Half Girlfriend, 2 States among others, was himself mentored by his uncle Mahesh Bhatt. He says, “Bhattsaab has made me the man I am today. He believes, ‘You yourself will find the person you are’.
He has mentored Anurag Basu and Vikram Bhatt. He lets everyone speak in their own language. He has always maintained, ‘Earn money but always give back to the industry and people,” says the filmmaker who will make an announcement about his next project soon.