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Rising Star LA Exclusive: Get To Know Amritha Mary!

Amritha Mary is a filmmaker currently in Los Angeles, California. She is involved in all aspects of filmmaking from writing, cinematography, to producing! Read below our exclusive Q & A with Amritha Mary!

 Q: Where are you originally from and where are you located now on the map?

Amritha – A: I am originally from Tamil Nadu, India, so I was immersed in the mesmerizing world of South Indian cinema from an early age. Part of the reason why I’ve always been passionate about filmmaking is because my love for films is deeply rooted in my culture. I am currently based out of Los Angeles, chasing my dream, but a part of my heart and work remains in Chicago, a city that shaped me academically during my time at DePaul University. Navigating through these vastly different cities and countries has profoundly influenced my art, weaving together diverse cultural experiences into a multifaceted life story and making me the creative person I am today.

Q:  Amritha, what motivates and inspires you to be the best at your profession and what do you love most about film?

Amritha – A:What I love most about film is how much of an influence this medium can have on people. It’s a universal language, combining all art forms to allow people to experience different lives. It helped me discover myself and convey my emotions when I couldn’t find the words, which is exactly what I want to give back. Every time I experience a strong emotion or go through a challenging period, I find solace in films that resonate with my feelings. If such a movie doesn’t exist, then I see it as my mission to tell that story myself. Likewise, I have so much respect and awe for the wonderful creatives in this industry who have stories to tell that are so personal to them. Filmmaking is inherently collaborative, and I cherish the opportunity to bring these unique stories to life through my lens. Each project is a new adventure, a chance to weave together different perspectives and create something truly special.

Ultimately, the power of cinema lies in its ability to create this shared human experience, be it based on reality or an escape from it. Whether it’s a story of triumph, struggle, love, or loss, film has the power to move us, to make us think, and to bring us closer together. That’s the magic I strive to be a part of every time I pick up my camera.

Q: Do you have a top 3 favorite actors, filmmakers, or directors you want to work with in the business?

Amritha – A:Top 3 is definitely a hard pick. My dream director I’d love to work with is Mani Ratnam, a visionary storyteller who has shaped Tamil cinema. Not only does he write his characters so distinctively and complex, but he also captures them with a unique visual, working close together with his cinematographers and production designers to enhance his stories. I’ve learned so much about back-lighting subjects through his films. His movies have had a significant cultural impact, reflecting and challenging social norms, which have sparked conversations on various issues, including politics, religion, and human relationships. I think he is someone who understands every aspect of filmmaking on a microscopic scale, which results in his strong filmography.

Another director and screenwriter would be Greta Gerwig. Representation in stories and the people who tell them are so important. The female characters and the journey they go through are genuine, and it comes off as such because she writes from her own experience. That authenticity only elevates the film, which I’ve always felt watching her movies. I want to be a part of making more inclusive movies so people like me can relate and others can understand, so I think having a story written and directed by a woman leading the production would be a beautiful and fulfilling experience.

A cinematographer I dream of working with is Ravi Varman, ISC. His frames are like moving paintings with strokes of light. I really admire how he finds beauty in the imperfections we are normally taught to avoid in cinematography. This philosophy has really helped me to take a step back in this competitive industry at times and focus on the core of it all, which is art and the freedom to make mistakes in the process to create something unique. I’d really love to work with him someday to witness him make magic and learn his tricks.

Q: What would you say is your fav genre in roles you play( Drama, Comedy, Crime, Action, a little bit of all) ?

Amritha – A:I would say my overall favorite genre is drama. I’m drawn to stories that allow one to introspect oneself. The emotional resonance of a well-crafted film can linger long after the credits roll, sparking conversations about life. I think a great example of that is “This Is Us.”  It’s a show that follows the lives of the Pearson family members, and that level of mundanity is something I and so many other people could relate to let alone look up to at times. So that’s exactly the kind of stories I want to help make. Something that will touch the audience and hopefully take with them afterward. Drama is such a versatile genre; it evokes a certain connection to the characters even if you can’t relate with them, which is a great way to make foreign experiences into global ones.

Comedy has also been one of my favorites, specifically for the fun energy on set. It is a joy to capture actors when they’re having so much fun and improving; it keeps me on the edge. In addition to that, I enjoy shooting anything and everything. In terms of cinematography, every story is a different challenge to master. You have to take apart the story and get into the minds of the characters to tell the story in the uniqueness that it is and it’s always fun to explore that in different genres. 

Q: Can you share with us something people may not know about you? Any hobbies or other secret talents you have and or like to do in your spare time ?

Amritha – A:I learned hip-hop dancing for a long time back in school as a hobby and would compete in all the dance events and competitions. I have so many fun memories from it. I also love to paint, especially landscapes and architecture. I would paint all these places I would dream of going to. My favorite artist is Vincent Van Gogh, and I’ve tried to recreate his artwork in my paintings. I’ve always been an artist of the visual medium, and before I got into cinematography, I was actually working in the Art Department and did a little bit of production design. That experience helps me a lot currently working as a cinematographer to understand better and communicate with the production designers I work with.

Q: What are some projects that you’ve just wrapped up recently or that you’re currently working on now?

Amritha – A:I’ve met a talented group of creatives out in Los Angeles, all of whom I admire, and we’ve been working together to workshop ideas, write scripts, and produce them. These collaborators have become some of my closest friends and that’s made this all the more of a creatively satisfying and fun experience. We have a few upcoming shoots coming up and a bunch of films that are currently in post-production and soon to be completed that I’m looking forward to!

Q: What are your official social sites on the web we can follow ?

Amritha – A: My Instagram @amrithamary is where I keep up with my work and take everyone behind the scenes of it all!