The 'New Agers'
An Interview With the F
DK, Anupam and Raj- the "incredibly like-minded" threesome.

A passion for films got the unlikely threesome together. Raj Nidimoru and Krishna DK are software guys who bonded over cricket, music and movies while studying in India. Over endless debates and, discussions was formed the genesis of dreams2reality Films. Anupam Mittal is an entrepreneur with interests in the Internet media (, and textiles. The three first got together to make the acclaimed short feature, and are back now with their first feature film FLAVORS. 

FLAVORS is an ambitious project that weaves together multiple storylines, and an international cast and crew from India, Canada, New York and Europe. They were nominated as Best Emerging Directors recently by the Asia Society in New York.

Many of us Indians are film crazy, but not all of us venture out to make films. How did you guys with no background in films decide to get into filmmaking?
Well, we just are a little more film crazy than most people then! It's just that we have been watching films for a long while now. We would have these huge discussions analyzing a film after we watched them - from how we would ourselves make those films and what went wrong with them, to admiration for stories, techniques, etc. 

Soon we were making shorts, and we finally graduated to making our first one-hour feature, That it earned some good reviews at some film festivals boosted our confidence and here we are with FLAVORS.

A Bollywood film director once told me during the course of an interview that filmmaking is an art that is imbibed after years of watching and learning from other established directors. There was a time when a director would venture out to make a film only after he had spent years on the sets assisting a director. Can film direction be self-taught? Is passion for filmmaking enough to make a technically sound film?
Well passion is a must. Making a film is a long and hard process and requires a lot of sacrifices - and the passion is the only thing that keeps one going. But passion alone is not enough to make a good film.

What you say is true. Films are your teacher. You have to watch films to learn and imbibe from them. But of course, you need to be able to channel what you see into action. Being engineers - we have a certain ability to analyze and break any huge project into modules small enough to be manageable. That's what we did for filmmaking too - figure out all the individual aspects and learn and implement each one. 

A lot of people have an inborn talent. But we also believe that any craft can be learnt if there is a corresponding interest. The more passionate you are, the more you open yourself to learning the craft. 

We have watched so many movies - loved some, hated some. So as part of the discerning audience, we imbibed the good and the bad. And all that came into play when we sat down to write our script. 

We didn't jump into filmmaking or assist anyone, but we did start small with short films. They were our way of testing how much we knew our craft. We tested ourselves - we didn't want to make audiences scapegoats as we learnt our craft! So that is why we took baby steps, slowly getting bigger and bigger, and now we have our first feature film ready to release this week.

Flavors is branded a crossover film. What exactly does this term stand for? And what makes your crossover film different from others. To extend the question a little, what qualities distinguish you from the numerous other crossover filmmakers?
Actually, FLAVORS is not branded a crossover film. The term actually is much hyped and much abused. 

Essentially, a crossover film broadly means one that holds appeal for audiences outside of its fixed ethnic demographic. If a film has universal sensibilities and people can relate to its characters, that is a crossover film. 

Coming to FLAVORS, we call it a New Age film. It has modern sensibilities, it is intelligently made, and it doesn't take the audience for granted. And yes, we like to think it appeals to a global audience, as we have seen from a number of screenings at some prestigious film festivals that FLAVORS has been to. Audiences, irrespective of ethnicity or language, seemed to have enjoyed the film thoroughly. 

It is different from other films because, so far, movies we have seen have told us how to feel, how to react, when to laugh and when to cry. What we mean is that movies usually spoon feed you. And of course they adhere to formula because people tend to be apprehensive about veering away from formula. 

We consider ourselves audience-turned-filmmakers not just engineers-turned-filmmakers. So we decided to respect ourselves and others and their intelligence and have tried to make an innovative film.

 What audiences are you targeting with FLAVORS. Would you call the movie innovative? If you do, what makes you certain that people are eager for something different?
As we said earlier, we are appealing to a global audience. Because the emotions, the language it speaks are universal. Like we keep saying, 'It is the story of you and me, minus the boring parts.' Thoughts are the same, feelings and emotions are the same, the world over. And that is what we hope this film will do when it releases on July 16 - reach out to the world audience.

But our immediate goal is to focus on the niche South Asian audiences because it is our core audience. Let us see how things happen after the film releases. 

Yes, FLAVORS is innovative. For us, technique and presentation is of paramount importance, just as the content. That is why we chose a very quirky, very non-linear structure - that has multiple storylines intersecting each other to come together at the end. We also set the bar high for ourselves with the main core thought behind FLAVORS - the world is small, and everyone's connected. 

To achieve those connections among the characters in FLAVORS, avoiding loopholes, adhering to logic and yet making it entertaining was a huge task. But we did manage to come up with an entertaining product, for all our efforts!

Would you say your style of filmmaking has evolved after you first ventured to make a mockumentary? Which filmmaker’s style has inspired you most?
Well, we would like to think it has evolved! After you are done with each movie, you equip yourself to make a better film. Sure, we do our best with whatever film we are making. But at the end of it, we have to evolve - it is a process of challenging ourselves by setting the bar higher and higher. The day we stop evolving, we sill pursue some other career!

We respect a lot of filmmakers. But it is New Age filmmakers that we admire most. They could be from anywhere, from any part of the world. So rather than any specific director, it is the style that we are more keen on. But yes, we have always admired the Coen brothers. 

If you had to pick your Bollywood & Hollywood favorites, what films (and filmmakers) )would figure on your list?
It's so tough to pick films like that! Well, in the last couple years, we have liked Dil Chahta Hai and Company. And we have very high respect for Mani Ratnam and Ra m Gopal Varma. In Hollywood, of course, the Coen brothers. And Amelie.

How did Anupam and the Raj & Krishna duo get together. 
Well, when we were making, we met Anupam Mittal, founder and chairman of People Group that also owns the very popular portal, 

We realized that we were incredibly like-minded, and just as passionate as us in terms of the kind of films we want to make. He loved the idea of our film,, and we tied up. 

Then we decided we wanted to continue this association further. And so, we remain together with FLAVORS as well. We are just very lucky we happened!

 What’s in the future for the Flavors threesome?
Films. And more films. All kinds of films! We are a very strong, like-minded group right now, with Anupam, Raj, Krishna and Sita Menon, and we just can't wait to make another film. And it is definitely going to be another genre..