Lom Harsh: Subsidy and local support critical for independent films
Filmmaker Lom Harsh chooses locations in Bareilly and Lucknow to shoot his next film, A Man with White Coat, based on his own book and realistic locations. The film, which is about a doctor's career, will showcase the importance of doctors and will feature Netaji's Kadam kadam badhaiye ja as an anthem for doctors.
Filmmaker Lom Harsh has zeroed in on locations in Bareilly and Lucknow to shoot his next film. The Yeh Hai India and Chicken Biryani writer-director’s next A Man with White Coat is based on his own book and realistic locations. And above all, the Uttar Pradesh government’s subsidy scheme made him head towards the state.
“The film is on three phases of a doctor’s career – MBBS, MD and then practice. So, we need to shoot it in different locations. We have zeroed in on locations in Rajasthan, Nasik-Pune and Uttar Pradesh. As it’s a realistic story, we need to shoot in real locations and medical colleges,” says Harsh, 37.
He is now gearing up to lock locations. “I have travelled to Agra-Mathura and Meerut belt but what caught my attention was locations in Bareilly and Lucknow. Besides realistic locations, the subsidy and ease of shooting scenario – that I keep hearing from my friends – is impressing me a lot. It’s very tough for independent filmmaker to make a film. Such films, if supported by corporate houses, have potential to become commercial success but we get very less support from them. In this scenario, helps like subsidy and local support are very big for Indie projects.”
Harsh feels it’s high time to showcase doctors in good light. “I personally feel doctors have not got their due in cinema. Since pandemic, they now command more respect, but due to various commercial reasons we hardly have a film exclusively based on them. So, I did a lot of research, spoke to around 400 doctors and wrote my book. My next directorial venture is based on this book. We are recreating Netaji’s (Subhash Chandra Bose) song Kadam kadam badhaiye ja as an anthem for doctors.”
Speaking of his journey, he says, “I belong to Rajasthan and after my graduation in architecture and interior designing, I moved to Australia for 5 years for studies which included post-graduation, MBA and a filmmaking course. In 2012, I returned to India and did my business in interior designing. I got the chance to do a film and debuted with Yeh Hai India which was based on my experience with NRIs in Australia. It was screened in France, US (it won best director award) and in India (2019) it won best raag-inspired song (Dhola sung by Raja Hasan). I made two short films, Chicken Biryani and its sequel, based on Indian armed forces.”
He has also made a five-episode web-series Mintoo which has been released in the US and Europe and after two months it is expected to stream in India.