Jai Hind College, Mumbai has established itself as one of the biggest hubs for college talent. We, at ATKT.in are well aware of the magic that lies within the campus—from our star dancing champs to this spectacular beatboxer—they’ve all come from the same sacred place situated in South Bombay.

When Jai Hind College’s Media Fest was fast approaching, we got you a special coverage of the talent to watch out for at Detour. The first name on this list was none other than the star pianist, Neerad Sumeet.

A 19-year old studying Media, Neerad started learning how to play the harmonium after which he started his journey of mastering the piano about six years ago. A musician with great skill and a knack for jazz, rock and roll, Neerad has earned the popular title of being a ‘talented musician’ in the college circle.

A keen participant at college festivals such as Malhar and the like, Neerad was seen at Thakur College’s Cortokino showcasing his talent as a director! Yes, you heard us right. Neerad worked on a rather revolutionary concept and made his debut as a director of short films through ‘R’evol’ution’. Here’s how it turned out.

Revolution is a touchy topic for some, but an important one for Neerad and his friends. With a great deal of first-hand research, Neerad went about gathering opinions from people belonging to different generations to understand their point of view on the subject.

“The concept and direction is mine, I have always wanted to make a film related to the LGBT situation in our country. We need to change the mindset of people about homosexuals and Indians need to understand that ‘it is okay’ to like the same sex. Also, to convey this message, I thought film was the best medium!” said Neerad.

Talking about his biggest advantage during casting with the help of his actor-father, Neerad shares how he got in touch with Mr Yatin Karyekar and Ms Shilpa Tulaskar, both eminent and well-known faces in the world of theatre and cinema. Even though he was extremely nervous on the first day of shoot, shooting a scene with both established actors—on the day of his first ever shoot, Neerad felt extremely relieved receiving help and direction from the masters.

“My biggest challenge was shooting the scenes with the lead actress. It was her first attempt as well and I had to explain her several shots with the whole background because I wanted those expressions from her. Especially the scene with Yatin Ji (her father), we had to work a great deal but she finally did it so well that even Yatin Ji was impressed,” says the proud director.

Neerad feels an emotional connect to this film not only because it’s on a subject that means a great deal to him but also because he met a number of talented people and learnt a great deal from the team he worked with. Even though his first attempt gathered him a Second Runners-Up position at Cortokino, Neerad is preparing to work more—a lot more and raise the bar next time!

By the ATKT.in Editorial Team