Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Aashrita’s Journey So Far

Aashrita Kamath was born in Kolkata, West Bengal. She grew up in Chennai, but soon moved to Rishi Valley School, a small boarding school in rural Andhra Pradesh to finish her school education. It was at Rishi Valley’s film club that she discovered her love for films. What was, at the time an excuse to watch an extra movie every week soon turned into a lifelong love affair with the magical world of movies.
Aashrita went on to study Sociology at St. Xavier’s College in Mumbai before working in Bollywood in the art department of feature films and commercials. During this time, she worked with Production Designer Aradhana Seth on ‘West is West’ directed by Andy DeEmmony and starring Om Puri and Linda Basset. She also worked on Zindagi Na Milegi Dobaradirected by Zoya Akhtar and starring Hrithik Roshan, Abhay Deol, Farhan Akhtar, Katrina Kaif and Kalki Koechlin.
In 2011, Aashrita applied to the prestigious AFI conservatory in Los Angeles and was accepted as one of just 14 Production Design Fellows at the conservatory. In recognition of her work done at the conservatory, she was presented with the Tom Yoda Scholarship Award in 2012She designed two thesis films ‘Interstate’ and ‘Dustland’, both of which garnered critical acclaim and had successful runs on the film festival circuit. During the intensive two-year program, she was able to learn from leading professionals from the industry, including Steven Spielberg’s long time Production Designer, Rick Carter, Jim Bissell (Mission Impossible Ghost Protocol, Jumanji) and Sharon Seymour (Argo, The Town, Gone Baby Gone) and many others.
Interstate’ was a winner at the 41st Student Academy Awards in 2012. It was also nominated for the Student BAFTA in the same year. ‘Dustland’ was nominated for Best Production Design/Art Direction and was also awarded the Bridges/Larson Production Award at AFI. Contrapelo another short film she designed made it to the final ten on the shortlist for the 2016 Academy Awards Best Live Action Short film.  Recently, ‘I See You’ a short film directed by Manjari Makijany was winner of the 40th Asian American Film Festival Short Film Category after having its world premiere at The American Pavilion, Emerging Filmmaker Showcase at the Cannes Film Festival in 2017. The short film was also selected to screen at the opening night of the Chicago South Asian Film Festival before the feature film ‘Newton’ (India’s official entry for the 2018 Academy Awards’ Best Foreign Film Award)
Since moving to Los Angeles in 2011, she has worked in the art departments of several big-budget Hollywood Films, including The BFG (directed by Steven Spielberg), Equals (Produced by Ridley Scott, Directed by Drake Doremus). She also worked on Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures’ KONG: SKULL ISLAND, directed by Jordan Vogt Roberts and starring Tom Hiddleston, Brie Larson, Samuel L Jackson and John C Riley. Aashrita worked closely with legendary Production Designer Stefan Dechant on one of the most iconic sets in the movie, The Boneyard. It was shot on location at Kualoa Ranch in Hawaii, which was made famous by the Jurassic Park and Jurassic World movies that were shot there a few years ago.
She recently wrapped Art Directing on Legendary Studios’ Pacific Rim Uprising, directed by Steven DeKnight and starring John Boyega, Scott Eastwood and Cailee Spaeny.
She is currently working as an Art Director on James Cameron’s Avatar 2 & 3 which are in production in Los Angeles.
Aashrita lives in Los Angeles with her husband Farhad Ahmed Dehlvi, who she first met at Rishi Valley School, and continued on to study and work together in the film Industry. Farhad is a Director of Photography and shoots dramatic fiction as well as commercials and music videos. They collaborated together on the film ‘I See You’ directed by Manjari Makijany.
When she isn’t busy shooting or preparing for a film, Aashrita likes to take advantage of the famous California weather and goes Hiking & Camping. She enjoys gardening and cooking and is currently working her way through several cookbooks! She loves traveling and is grateful that her work constantly takes her to new places, some that she never even dreamed of visiting; From filming Kong: Skull Island in Hawaii (on the famous Kualoa Ranch where Jurassic Park was filmed) to Pacific Rim: Uprising in Sydney, Australia and Qingdao, China. Her earlier work in Bollywood on Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara took her to Barcelona, Catalonia and Andalucia in Spain.

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