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About the mastermind, film maker and winner, Vijesh.

Former Indian School Bahrain student Vijesh's love for the world of movies began as a young boy in grade six. He said: "People read novels or indulge in sports. I used to watch movies.

"And I guess, in a lot of cases, it's the art form itself that inspires you to become an artist."

When he reached grade nine, the family got a video camera which encouraged Vijesh to try his hand at filming.

He said: "My father bought our first video camera, mostly for capturing family gatherings and outings. I remember making films with some of my old Ninja Turtle and GI Joe action figures, using my sister to announce commercial breaks. The camera didn't last too long."

His mother, Vijaya Rajan, a teacher at the Indian School Bahrain, said: "I remember when he was in the 12th grade, when he should have been preparing for his board exams, which are very important exams for applying for colleges in India, I would go to his room and instead of studying would find him writing stories.

"That is when I first started to suffer from high blood pressure!

"But now we, as parents, are extremely proud of him and this is a great moment for him."

After school, Vijesh left for Mumbai, India to pursue a Bachelors degree in commerce. But instead of attending his accountancy and economics classes, he would sneak into a lecture room with the mass media students and also undertook some of their projects.

This is where he first learned to write scripts.

He said: "Conceptualising and writing the story appeals to me the most, because it's the least painstaking activity of them all.

"There are no budget constraints, schedule conflicts or computer errors that can get in the way and it can be as fun as your imagination allows it to be.

"I do tend to lean a lot towards the supernatural in my stories, but maybe that's just a phase. Maybe."

In 2003, he applied to the Griffith Film School in Brisbane, Australia where he studied for a Masters degree in Media Production (Film and Television).

After the course he came back to Bahrain in 2005 and went to work at advertising company Memac Ogilvy and Mather WLL prior to joining Gulf Saatchi and Saatchi, the present day GulfMarcom.

Professionally, Vijesh has produced two corporate videos and three television commercials as well as being involved with nine short films.

He said: "I've directed three films, namely Predestination, a reflection on the possibility that different people across the world could be thinking of the same thing at any given moment, Woken Shell, a rather abstract film about transcending life and The Waiting."

Vijesh has also acted in two short films. While down under he played a chubby cop in Chaplin DoyjYa vu made by Australian-based short film maker Shiva Rethinam and more recently he was featured in Dreams, a production by Bahrain-based film maker Ajith Nair where he was second fiddle to a young tailor who resorts to pick-pocketing to pursue his dreams of becoming rich.

He said: "I also adapted an earlier draft of the screenplay of my recent film The Waiting, which was directed by a close friend, Mumbai-based filmmaker Srinivas Sunderrajan. This film made it as an Official Selection from India at the Expresion En Corto Film Festival, Mexico in 2006."

His other experiences include working as sound supervisor on two short films, including Shanthi, a journey from one end of India to the other and Fallen about an after-death experience which he co-wrote.

Fallen made it as the finalist in the Best Experimental Film category of the International Student Film & Video Festival, Beijing.

On the cards for the coming year is a trip to India in May to work with a friend on an independent film project.

He said: "I also plan to shoot a film of my own during that break."

Though aiming to make it in Bollywood or Hollywood, Vijesh also hopes to see Bahrain's own entertainment zone bloom.

He said: "My dream is to see a fully-functional, internationally recognised film industry in Bahrain someday."

For him the Cinergy2008 was the first step towards this.

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Publication:Gulf Weekly
Date:Feb 17, 2009
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