We had the good fortune of connecting with filmmakers Prashant Thakker & Roberto Donoso and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Prashant Thakker, why did you pursue a creative career?
Prashant Thakker: My desire to tell stories rose from a deep-rooted need to examine the brokenness of humanity. Escaping from abuse in India, my mother and I came to America when I was ten. I spent my teens living in small towns across the Midwest; a brown-skinned boy who never really belonged. It wasn’t until I moved to Miami for an airline job in my twenties that I encountered people from all walks of life. I understood that everyone has a story, and more importantly, that each story matters. The chains of childhood conditioning broke as I took a leap of faith toward self-discovery. In doing so, my artistic journey began.
Roberto Donoso: I believe it was Pablo Picasso who said: “Every child is an artist. The problem is to remain an artist once they grow up.” My well-intended father, a physician who is a product of his time, did not believe the arts were something one chose as a career; they were a hobby. Despite my childhood passion for languages, books, and for writing, I was persuaded to follow the more traditional path. I studied Business Management, all while fueling my covert love for the arts with electives like Literature, Philosophy, Aesthetics of Film, and Photography. After a successful, yet unfulfilling 10-year career at a Fortune 500 company, something shifted within. I was approaching forty and recognized the path I was on, didn’t belong to me. Looking back, I don’t know where I found the courage to leave it all. I quit my corporate job and took some time to figure out what came next. Eventually, the journey brought me back to what I know in my heart was my passion and destiny – storytelling.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Prashant Thakker & Roberto Donoso: Writing is often a solitary endeavor, for obvious reasons. When creating characters and/or a story, no one can see exactly what your mind sees. We are lucky enough to be creative partners who “get” one another. We have a common, clear vision when it comes to our storytelling style. Our individual strengths are complementary, thus enhancing our creative process. We both wish to tell visually-stimulating, thought-provoking stories about the human condition. What sets us apart is the fact that we both started our careers as writers / filmmakers later in life. We see it as a blessing, because with experience comes knowledge. We have worked in other industries and have traveled extensively for the past twenty years. Collectively, we have seen and gone through much of what we use to develop our stories. We are most proud of our award-winning short film “The Woman Under The Tree”, which we co-wrote and produced, and worked tirelessly to bring to fruition. The film premiered at the Miami Film Festival in March 2020, and has been chosen to participate in many film festivals in the U.S., Europe, and Asia. Like in every profession, challenges abound. Making a movie is no easy task. It is a competitive industry and getting your work noticed takes patience and perseverance. The biggest lessons from our journey come down to: Trust your vision. Build your tribe. Follow your instincts – they’re usually right. Ignore the naysayers – everyone has an opinion. If you want it badly enough, never give up!
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Miami is an incredible city, full of life. Ordinarily, the list of things to do is endless. As South Beach locals, we might be a bit biased, but the beach is always a must! Having said that, right now we would tell our best friends not to visit until the covid19 virus is contained, and things reach some level of normalcy.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Prashant Thakker: For me, it began at the Miami Media and Film Market, a local film and entertainment marketplace that connects people in the industry. Each year, founder Patricia Arias, creative director Jose Luis Martinez, and the amazing MMFM team, bring together industry insiders who not only teach you about the business, but really encourage you to go after your dreams. I am forever grateful to MMFM for inspiring me to keep going. I also want to recognize James Franco, who spent a summer in New York teaching me and other filmmakers how to make a horror film. A big shoutout and thank you to director Karishma Kohli, whose webseries I script-supervised in India last year. This led to Karishma offering to direct our short film “The Woman Under The Tree” which I co-wrote and produced with Roberto. Last but not least, a shoutout to the awesome team who worked on our short.
Roberto Donoso: The bulk of my writing work in the past four years has gone to my manuscript, a historical novel in its gazillionth edit. With that, my shoutouts go first and foremost to the amazing authors who have inspired me over the years: Isabel Allende, Laura Esquivel, Arthur Golden, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, among many others. A big “thank you” to my father, who even though didn’t see me as a writer in my youth, planted in me the love for the written word from early on. The most amazing part of my screenwriting journey has been to see our words come to life on the screen, which is why I want to give a shoutout to director Karishma Kohli, lead actress Alina Interián, and the entire cast and crew of The Woman Under The Tree.
Website: www.prashantthakker.com www.robertodonoso.com
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/prashant_thakker https://www.instagram.com/robertodonosolopez
Other: https://www.facebook.com/diversestoryteller https://www.facebook.com/thewomanunderthetree https://www.instagram.com/thewomanunderthetree