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In this episode, I speak with Ram Devineni, an award-winning documentary filmmaker about gender equality, gender violence, Priya’s Shakti comic, storytelling, and creating art that rises above fake news and social media chatter.
Who is Ram Devineni?
Ram Devineni is a documentary filmmaker who has created a handful of renowned works of art. He produced The Russian Woodpecker, which won the Grand Jury Prize at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival and was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award.
His most recent film, The Karma Killings, about the Nithari serial killings, is out exclusively on Netflix worldwide and hailed as “Indian’s true crime watershed moment.”
He is the creator of the interactive social-activist comic books, Priya’s Shakti and Priya’s Mirror, which received the Tribeca Film Institute New Media Fund from the Ford Foundation and supported by the World Bank, and honored by UN Women as a “gender equality champion.”
Why Should You Listen to Ram Devineni?
There are plenty of reasons why you should listen to Ram Devineni. Let me give the top 3:
- He produced award-winning films while working a full-time career in IT.
- Ram Devineni talks about the elements of the puzzle he had to put together to launch the comic book, Priya’s Shakti.
- He’s got advice for you if you plan to take on your interests and hobbies no matter how old you are.
What Does He Talk about in this Interview?
- How have you been a filmmaker?
- How old are you? When did you quit your full-time IT work?
- How long does it take for you to get a project completed?
- What is Priya Shakti?
- Why were you in Delhi?
- What happened while you were in Delhi?
- How has your perspective of Gender Equality changed in 6 years?
- Can artists make a difference in helping the world separate truth from fake news?
- How did you approach a work like Priya Shakti’s execution? – religion, gender equality, etc.
- Describe Team and Agency, please.
- Are you a medium for NGOs?
- Can you describe how you put together a team for Priya Shakti?
- How did you make sure the comic book got viral and adopted?
- How did you make sure your artwork actually made an impact?
- Can you describe how you reached out to people to have your art accepted? Who did you have to put into your team?
- How did you make sure the impact was felt in the rural areas?
- Do you think the life of Priya’s Shakti is over?
- How did you ensure the money was in, to make Priya Shakti?
- Where are you from? What was your childhood like?
- Have you had any influence from your parents or someone from filmmaking?
- What makes you different as a filmmaker?
- Who has had the most influence on you as a storyteller?
- What are the biggest mistakes budding filmmakers do? What’s a complete waste of time?
- How did you manage to balance two jobs?
- Where can people reach you?
- Parting advice to aspiring filmmakers or artists?
How Can You Listen?
Ram Devineni’s interview is available in audio.
Direct Link to Audio
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How to Get In Touch with Ram Devineni?
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A new superhero has arisen in India in the wake of the brutal gang rape on a Delhi bus two years ago: Priya, a mortal woman who has raped herself, but who fights back against sexual violence with the help of the goddess Parvati – and a tiger. – THE GUARDIAN.
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