Interview: ISHU KRISHNA - Award Winning Writer Director & Producer of ARRANGE TO SETTLE (2012)

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Ishu Krishna

Washington, DC, June 6, 2012 (Washington Bangla Radio) Award-winning Washington, DC based film-maker Ishu Krishna has made quite a few critically acclaimed short films before her first full-length feature film "Arrange to Settle" (2012) about an American girl named Jyothi born to parents who immigrated from India - a girl who decides to get an arranged marriage following a series of failed relationships. WBRi's Marian Chakraborty caught up with Ishu just before the red-carpet premiere of "Arrange to Settle" in Bethesda, Maryland to chat about the writer-director herself, her films, film-making and of course "Arrange to Settle" in this audio interview.

Ishu has won a slew of awards for her short films and other projects, picking up Best Graphics, Best Choreography, Best Music, Best Editing and so on. She believes "Open Bar" (2009) is one of the short films that really came out the way she wanted, and is considering making a feature based on it.

Trailer: Arrange to Settle (English, 2012)

Though it is not uncommon for people to assume such, "Arrange to Settle" is not an autobiographical film, says Ishu. One of the reasons she made the film was to try to explain what "arranged" marriages really mean in the modern world. Unlike stereotypical notions of Indian village-style arranged marriages involving brides and grooms who meet for the first time the day of the wedding, modern arranged marriages are conducted much like western dating web-sites giving people the opportunity to meet and get to know each other first.

Jyothi, the central character in Ishu's film, is also a close friend of Preetha and Melanie. The latter two ladies are from different backgrounds and have their own challenges and difficult choices to make. Preetha is a modern Indian girl married to an Indian guy looking forward to motherhood, and Melanie is prone to drunken one-night stands, wondering where to go from there.

Being an avid music lover herself, Ishu attends a lot of concerts and has brought some of the most talented independent musicians from Washington DC in to the soundtrack of her film. The music in her film is eclectic, ranging from country to hip-hop, alternative to rock.

Do not miss Ishu's story, humorous in retrospect, of how she lost a shooting location because a bar she was scheduled to shoot at did not open when they got there and a mad scramble ensued to find another bar pronto!

Asked about the reasons for a the great number of excellent independent films coming out of the DC area, Ishu says she believes the spectacular locations in Washington DC combined with the digital film-making revolution are contributory causes.

Talking about recent developments in crowd funding enabled by the internet, Ishu thinks its a phenomenal thing to happen to indie film-makers. She is herself a beneficiary of the tool and appreciates the way some internet services providing crowd funding platforms offer a choice to raise funds in a "all or none" fashion, i.e. if the project does not raise at least the amount of money set by the film-maker as the goal, none of the money raised is made available to the project; this actually drives the film-maker to motivate a bigger crowd to contribute.

With a full time job with the IRS, the fact that Ishu can still come up with a feature-length film speaks volumes about her love and passion for film making. We all are looking forward to many more spectacular works from her.

Arrange to Settle Movie Poster

Arrange to Settle

Starring: Priya Jagadeesh, Beau Peregino, Ravi Khanna, Nayab Hussain, Susannah Wells, Shree Iyengar, Chandra Kumar, Tony Reseinger, Puneet Kalra, Chelsey Christensen, PJ Megaw, Sabita Raman
Written, Directed, Produced By Ishu Krishna

Article - Supratim Sanyal

Picture from Ishu's album on Facebook.

Marian Chakraborty, a native of Cleveland, Ohio, has been studying Rabindrasangeet for 11 years primarily under Mrs. Rama Banerjee of Pittsburgh and also under Sri Rano Guhathakurta of Kolkata. She learned Bengali at the University of Washington, Seattle, under the late Dr. Carol Salomon, renowned translator of Lalon Giti. A clinical and forensic psychologist by profession, Marian has participated in numerous cultural programs with the Bengali Cultural Society of Cleveland and has also served on the board. Other passions include translation of Rabindrasangeet.