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Check Out Prarthana Joshi’s Story

Today we’d like to introduce you to Prarthana Joshi.

Hi Prarthana, thanks for sharing your story with us. To start, maybe you can tell our readers some of your backstory.
I was born in India in the city of Pune, a couple of hours from Mumbai. Pune is a city with a rich cultural heritage; art, music, and theater were always an integral part of growing up. But for someone born in a middle-class family, it meant that I was to choose a field that would be risk-free. I studied architecture and enjoyed learning to design. But I felt like a misfit and longed for something. I had chosen my thesis project, as the museum of Indian cinema, due to my love for films. This opened doors to a world that I was unaware of. I started assisting directors and went to a number of film festivals. I made new friends who made me feel that I had met my tribe. It was like discovering myself and knowing in my heart that my life was about to change its course. After working, assisting directors, writing and directing my first few projects…I knew I had a lot to learn. That is when I came to Los Angeles in 2010. I did my master’s in filmmaking from New York Film Academy.

Since graduation, I was geared to be on set and learn, grow more. I have been working on different projects, in different capacities and in different departments. It has been quite a journey! Coming to a new city, a new country and a new culture. There is a lot to learn beyond the craft itself. It has been an uphill battle, with tons of amazing mentors and colleagues to be thankful to. I have been really lucky to meet people who want to invest in me and guide me, collaborate with me. That indeed is a big deal. It will be ten years in December 2020 for me to be here in LA and working as a producer, sometimes as an AD and sometimes as a Production Designer. I have been lucky to have worked on some amazing production over the years.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
Of course, it is not a smooth road. But a smooth road is no fun either. The best road is that challenges you and makes you better at your skills. One of the biggest challenges, other than having a limited network, was being from another country and growing up with Indian cinema and not Hollywood films. So I had a lot to catch up. There is a lot of pop culture, history and social conversation that happens with cinema of each country and I genuinely wanted to learn to truly understand and appreciate this cinema. I still have a lot to catch up. So there was and is reading history books, watching documentaries, old shows, listening to podcasts and sometimes just talking to friends about growing up in the United States. All this was part of the learning process. Then there are other struggles like being away from family and friends; Struggling to create a new world and a support system. But the best part is that this all seems worth it when you are so driven by your passion and the work. So all these things come out naturally and effortlessly.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
I would use the simplistic term filmmaker to define what I do. Because what I do is different based on the nature of the project. I work as a creative producer, working with directors from the script stage and seeing the project to completion. Handling physical production and being a creative support for all the creative decisions that need to be made. I have tons of hands on physical production experience and I am really proud of the fact that I have been able to work on projects of different scales. Features, Web Series, TV pilots, Digital media, documentaries and countless shorts. I also worked as a physical production coordinator streamlining the production procedure for the MFA and BFA thesis projects for the New York Film Academy in Los Angeles for several years, guiding students in their thesis productions. I have had a chance to work with several amazing directors; R.D. Womack II, Andrew Bachelor, Alex Perry, Matthew Ladensack Arnold, Anthony Cook, Kankana Chakraborty, Mark Valley, Anthony Lucero, Guy Zimmerman, and David Armstrong. 

There are so many projects that I would just love to talk about but let me share a project that I got an opportunity to produce. Vicarious, a TV Pilot. Written and Created by Jefferey Nicholas Brown (Henry Danger) and Scott Speiser (Amazon Show, The Tick). It was directed by the amazingly talented director Mandy Fabian. It won the best TV pilot at the amazing Dances with Films festival amongst other awards and screenings. Here is a link if you want to check it out – I am also a writer-director. And working on developing my own projects at the moment.

Any big plans?
I am at a point in my career where I want to develop and create my own projects. I am very excited about this next phase. I am looking to collaborate with directors to produce projects and to create my own. The year 2020 has been challenging for all, but it has also brought in a lot of clarity. I know what my strengths and weaknesses are and the years of hard work that I have put in has helped to gain this clarity.

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