Director Samit Kakkad, who is currently enjoying the response to his streaming series ‘Dharavi Bank’, has grown up in Dharavi. Hence, he didn’t have to prepare too much to shoot for the series since the area bought him a sense of familiarity.
While his father Amar Kakkad has been into the world of advertisement, his mother ran a small factory in Dharavi.
Talking about the same, he said: “The technical recce and preparation took us around seven months. I didn’t need to prepare myself to shoot in Dharavi. It’s where I played as a child. My mother ran a factory inside Dharavi. I used to spend hours playing in the bylanes with the children of the women who worked for my mother. I made friends with the locals and that area is like my second home.”
He further spoke about the biggest challenge that he faced during the shoot of the series and it was brought along by the second and third waves of the pandemic affected a huge chunk of people at large.
He shared: “People staying there know me and they helped us a lot while shooting. The series was already set in Dharavi when I came on board. And knowing what we were planning to make, it didn’t sound or feel like a complex activity. The only biggest challenge was to shoot there during the second and third waves of COVID. I have to give it to my actors who were extremely sporting, supportive and cooperative while shooting there.
Recollecting how his journey in content started, the director said: “It all began for me when as a young boy, I would accompany my father, Amar Kakkad, to his ad and corporate film sets. Frankly, I don’t remember how old I was then but I vividly remember what my father did. He inspired me right from the time when I played in his lap. When I grew up, I just knew that this is all I wanted to do and that I would do it on my own. I did not depend on my father for any push to further my career.”
Samit has worked in different verticals of the audio-visual content: “I started editing TV shows and later, assisted Mahesh Manjrekar, Rahul Dholakia in direction and Basheer Ali in Cinematography. I continued to assist till I sensed some confidence in myself to create my own content. There comes a time when we realise that we have a voice of our own. I realised it, too. That’s when I decided to take the plunge and direct. And, I moved upward and forward, slowly but surely from there.”
When asked about his project, the director expressed: “You don’t choose between your children and I won’t choose between my films and shows. They are like my children. I have nurtured them, given them life and they will, hopefully, outlive me. Rather than successes or failures, I see them as experiences and I feel a sense of pride that there are quite a few milestones, across languages and mediums.”
‘Dharavi Bank’ is available to stream on MX Player.