Mallika Visvanathan (CDC, 2016-2017)

The Creative Documentary Course that I've been a part of for the past 18 months now has been quite a unique experience. It's one of the places where we have been pushed to think about what film is, how to think about fiction and nonfiction, and a lot of it is also about unlearning the way we think about film itself. The course teaches you to be critical…to think about what goes into making a film, what is the intent informing a particular film or a particular decision that is behind it. Without me knowing, a lot of the things I've done in class have actually become a part of me. It's become a part of the way I look at a film or the way I look at how to go about shooting something. I think it becomes an integral part of the way you start thinking or questioning things.

When you're starting out there's always that doubt about making a film, like, “Oh my god! I've never done this before!” But you have to make a film (in the course) and then slowly you get used to it, you get used to a workflow, you get used to a process that you've gone through or a way of researching. So I think that the good thing about each project is that there's so much you take away from it. Because it's an experience, you can retain it rather than it being something abstract.

What's interesting is that all of us help each other out on each other’s project. For instance, I did sound for a friend’s project and a friend did sound for me, so what happens is that you're working on multiple projects other than your own.