Asmita Shrish – Looking down on Earth

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We are exploring more places in London, week by week, and we’ve been to Hackney Attic this time, at the Whirlygig Cinema, during a showcase of independent filmmakers. We really loved all of them (especially because they were all women!!) and today we are pleased to introduce you Asmita Shrish, from Nepal. It’s been really interesting since we found many things in common with her. But she loves her heritage too, and she would like to save the Himalaya’s environment, are you ready to help her out?

Asmita Shrish - Auntie Ganga1) What is the aim of your work?
There is no fixed aim of my work. The aim keeps changing as I grow older but I can say the primary aim is and will always be telling human stories that touches people emotionally at least for a moment. 

2) Why do you want people know about your country and your heritage?
Nepal is famous in various ways especially with its mystic mountains ; mountaineers, trekkers , anthropologists, NGO workers have always been attracted to Nepal. In that way Nepal is pretty much out there! I am starting to think may be I cannot add anything creative you know. But as Nepal is so vast in culture, to make it known to people, I have to understand Nepal myself first I think. Then lets see what I can offer.

3) And of course, why people have to care or be aware about climate change in Himalaya?
Climate change is a vast subject. Climate change in Himalaya is again another big subject because all things is relative and what we do in big cities will somehow effect people’s lives who aren’t even responsible for .1% of it. We can revise and see the mountain tragedy that happens in 2014 in mountains of Nepal. We lost our finest Sherpas, passionate climbers and local guides which is heartbreaking. I haven’t done much of intensive data research myself but I guess it is somewhat the effect of climate change. If you belong to country full of mountains and climate change is effecting it, we just cannot ignore it.  

asmita shrish children nepal4) Could you explain better this project to our audience, describing even about your lifetime?
I am still in the very beginning of this climate change project. I found out just recently that lots of work has been done and still been going on in Climate change in Himalayas. I am going back to Himalayas again once I finished my ongoing project (which is again based in Nepal). I have met local people and talked about it and they are happy to cooperate with me.I have been talking with some universities here in UK to collaborate with me in making an installation piece and they are positive about it so lets see.

5) I really admire your simplicity to explain stories, even without a screenplay. Why are you not looking for special effects on your shorts? Why did you want to keep it that simple?
It’s just I didn’t have enough budget to add special effects :). Well the truth is I don’t think special effects will add anything to the story unless you are working on high end sci-fi and things like that. My stories don’t need that, I don’t think that telling a story of an old  couple needs any special effects. I like to work organically and I’d like to maintain that. I work without screenplay in my short documentaries because I just follow my instinct which I found is not necessarily a good thing. For feature (fiction and non-fiction) to have screenplay is important specially when you are working with people. It helps you and your team to understand structure but again I personally would like to do what’s best for the story regardless of sticking with original screenplay.

Answering your last question I think all stories are complicated why make them more complicated. Normal is good, isn’t it ?

asmita shrish himalaya6) And how is working as freelance filmmaking? Do you have to compromise your works sometime in order to get paid?
Yes of course, we always have to compromise while working for others. That’s why I try to work as minimal as I can, as a freelance (to pay the bills). I like to collaborate with like minded people though which is completely different where you get to exercise your brain as fuck (sorry) for something you really care. I just like that feeling !

7) Which is your favorite part of the job?
I wouldn’t call it ‘job’ , its the way of life I chose to live and I love living it so far.


Asmita Shrish on Facebook
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Asmita Shrish’s personal website

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