On Nara and Filmmaking

Interview With Navin Ramaswaran

Navin Ramaswaran is a Toronto based filmmaker who is promoting his first feature film, Nara, screening at the Toronto Underground Cinema on Thursday, August 26, 2010 at 9:00pm.

Originally from Windsor, Navin started Splice Productions in 2006 and has since shot eight shorts, a feature film Nara, and has won multiple awards along the way. Navin directs, produces, writes and edits a wide variety of work- from feature films to corporate videos.

I had the opportunity to interview Navin this week, with the goal of promoting his film as well as sharing his filmmaking experience to benefit other filmmakers.

For his feature film Nara, Navin was the writer/director/editor/producer/operator and it was screened at the Mississauga Independent Film Festival to rave audience reviews.
Navin invested a year and a half in Nara and financed the film himself- to help him stand out from his peers. He wanted to create a world for people to step into for 83 minutes, hoping for inspiration, discussion or emotion from his viewers.

Although Navin was able to secure distribution for the film during production, the deal didn’t turn out to be beneficial as he lost control of his film. He was quite honest with me in expressing the importance of knowing what you’re getting into as a filmmaker, and seeking legal advice when necessary.

Write To Direct Your First Feature“Filmmaking is a learning experience, and sometimes you have to learn hard lessons.”

Now owning the complete rights to his film, Navin plans to promote the film himself. “I started the project myself, and I want to see it through that way.”
When asked about tips for other filmmakers, Navin had a lot of advice.

“Know how to create a proper budget.”

“Every film needs something interesting about it, find a way for your film to shine early on.”

“Surround yourself with creative people, they’ll only inspire you and help you along your journey.”

“Just go do it!”

During the 38 days of production over a ten month period, Navin was able to edit as he went, enabling him to not only see how the film was coming together, but to learn as much as he could during the process.

After learning all the troubles Navin went through to see his film completed, it’s clear to me that he doesn’t lack passion or drive. Not only is his passion admirable, but his creativeness in getting the film made is a lesson to us all to find our strengths to be successful in whatever we undertake.

Tickets for the screening of Nara can be purchased online now at www.spliceproductions.ca or at the door on Thursday, August 26 at the Toronto Underground Cinema.

By James Dubbeldam, August 5, 2010

About Nara

Nara Poster

Synopsis: Content in a world of isolation that feeds his imagination, Blane lives the life of a vagabond. Through a chance encounter he crosses paths with Krista, a social work student who takes a special interest towards him. Their friendship blossoms and she soon discovers Blane's darkest secret; his friend NARA who happens to be the severed head of a murdered woman. Reality becomes blurred as Blane's obsession with NARA spirals out of control and Krista finds herself with more than she bargained for.

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About James Dubbeldam

James Dubbeldam James Dubbeldam was born on January 28 1981, in Toronto, Canada.

He discovered his passion for filmmaking in a high-school video class. Being born into a creative family and not having any creative outlets, when James realized his potential he wouldn’t put the camera down, and still hasn’t. 

James has written more than 16 feature-length screenplays, and numerous short films. He wrote a short film entitled, The Last Day of December which he shot in late 2007 in an attempt to make it on his own. It won two awards and gave James the vital experience to move onto something bigger. In early 2009, James shot his first feature film, Fallen Before Falling. It is currently in post-production.

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