Still from Kaash
The new director in Mira Nair’s family, Ishaan has been working after his degree in direction and cinematography from the New York University. Initially, in his search for himself, Ishaan discovered an instinctive talent for photography and thus began his experiments with the camera. He worked as a still photographer on the sets of Reluctant Fundamentalist and you may also remember him as Naseeruddin Shah’s son in Monsoon Wedding back in 2001. Without any formal training, Ishaan has, over the years, shot covers and editorials for Harper's Bazaar, L'Officiel, Marie Claire, Filmfare and Grazia magazines. His skill has led him to photograph some of the best-known faces of the Indian film industry and with a stronghold in fashion, he has shot advertising campaigns, films and shows for the most celebrated designers. As a part of his thesis project, Ishaan made a 43-minute short film called Guroor that got him the best director award at the Dusty Film Festival, a nomination at the IAAC, NY Festival, and he was also selected at River-to-River, Florence and Tel Aviv. Kaash is his debut feature film.
Still from Kaash
With Mira Nair, Irrfan Khan and Shimit Amin as presenters and a five-year journey behind it, Ishaan’s debut has generated a lot of curiosity. After its world premiere at Tokyo International Film Festival, Indian premiere at MAMI and American premiere at the Chicago Film Festival, the film is scheduled to release later this year. The film stars newcomers such as Varun Mitra, Nidhi Sunil and Kavya Trehan in the lead, and Kalki plays a special role in it. ‘I was a photographer in New York who moved to India and got into a relationship with a beautiful, talented and dusky actress. She was struggling to make it in a fair girl's world in Bollywood; she came close to making it, but I got left behind,’ says Ishaan, sharing the inspiration behind his film. In a nutshell, the movie touches upon the varied possibilities of chance…it’s an interesting journey of a boy exploring love and how some chances could have flipped the coin of his life.
Text Hansika Lohani Mehtani