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Alumni Blog: Shubhashish Bhutiani

Shubi Bhutiani (BFA Directing 2013) received the Unesco award for Human Rights, Peace and Democracy in Venice for his new film – his first feature — Hotel Salvation, DP’d by two fellow SVA alums, Michael McSweeney and David Huwiler.   He’s been busy since thesis film, Kush, won Best Short Film at the 2013 Venice Film Festival – and was short-listed for the best short film Oscar. 

14241465_301088330246719_4343811827721362086_oMukti Bhawana (Hotel Salvation) is about a son who is left with no choice but to embark on a journey to the holy city of Veranasi, when he’s faced with his father’s untimely and bizarre demand to go and die there in order to attain Salvation. We made this film on a “micro-budget” as part of the 4th Edition of Biennale College Cinema Program. It was a challenge for us to work on such a large, immersive story with many budgetary restrictions, but it motivated the crew and me to always look for new solutions. The film was shot on location in Varanasi, India’s holiest and oldest city, and is a warm father-son story. My DPs, Mike McSweeney and David Huwiler are both fellow alumni from SVA and were the same people who shot my thesis film, Kush, in 2013. Making this film has been one of my most memorable experiences, thanks to a team who worked very passionately to help me realize my vision.

 

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Subi with the cast and crew.

Now that the film has been completed, I’ve begun screening it at festivals. My first stop was Venice, which is a very beautiful festival, where film lovers from all over the world come to celebrate movies. The festival has been magical for me, as the film received a great reception and people have really connected to it. I genuinely didn’t know if people would come to see the film – or if they even knew about it, but we opened to packed houses, which was a great feeling for me. It’s quite an experience to watch your own film on a big screen with an audience who are reacting to your work. I was very nervous but it was a very rewarding experience. Apart from the film, I have really loved being here, seeing some amazing films and making new friendships that will carry over for my life.

Filed Under: Alumni Blog