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An Exclusive with Upasana Dahal

Upasana Dahal is a passionate Bhutanese photographer and a film maker whose unwavering dedication, artistic vision, and compassionate approach to storytelling have made her a revered figure in the global creative community. Through her lens, she captures the essence of societies, shares their stories, and inspires audiences around the world.

Q. If you could tell us about your place of birth and some aspects of your childhood?
A. I was born in Phuntsholing. However, during my schooling years, I had the opportunity to study in Sikkim as a bordering student until the completion of my 12th grade. During my academic journey, I encountered a hurdle when it came to mathematics. Recognizing my struggles, I made the decision to leave the subject behind and instead focus on biology. Beyond academics, I had a huge love for artistic expression. Thus, with a burning desire to pursue my artistic endeavors, I made the bold decision to venture to the bustling metropolis of Mumbai to embark on my career journey.

Q. What are some of the challenges or obstacles you encountered when you first began your journey?
A. My first movie was โ€œLove in Quarantineโ€. For this project, I decided to keep the team small, consisting of only five individuals. Since it was my first movie, I gained a lot of valuable experience while my second film posed a unique challenge in finding the perfect actor for a transgender role. The journey of casting the right artist taught me the importance of perseverance and the significance of collaboration between the director and the actor. Despite the initial obstacles, the final result was a testament to the power of determination and the transformative nature of cinema.

Q. In your perspective, what do you consider to be the most crucial attribute or quality that a film director should possess?
A. In my personal opinion, I firmly believe that one of the most vital qualities a film director should possess is the ability to effectively treat and bring together their crew members. Fostering a sense of unity, collaboration, and mutual respect within the team is of utmost importance. However, different directors may prioritize different qualities based on their unique approach and filmmaking style. What may be crucial to one director may not hold the same significance for another.

Q. How different were what you originally envisioned the film being like and how it eventually turns out?
A. I have a distinct approach to directing short movies, as I prefer to work with scripts written by others rather than writing them myself. When I receive a script for a project, I dedicate considerable time to thoroughly understanding the writerโ€™s vision and intensions. In each of the three movies I have directed, I am proud to say that I believe I did justice to the scripts I worked with. I poured my heart and soul into bringing the stories to life. It is always a gratifying experience when, upon completion of the project, I receive positive feedback and appreciation from the scriptwriters themselves.

Q. Can you provide some insights into the projects you are currently involved in or any upcoming endeavors you are working on?
A. Currently I am actively engaged in collaborating with various companies on the production of documentary projects. After that, I am eagerly anticipating a Samuh movie.

โ€œFollow your dreams because the significance of following your dreams cannot be overstated. When you pursue a path that brings you joy and fulfillment, it transforms your work into something more than just a job. It brings a lifelong passion that fuels your creativity, motivation, and overall well-being. When you genuinely enjoy what you do, each day becomes an opportunity for growth, personal satisfaction, and a positive outlook.โ€

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