Mohit Kulkarni is studying filmmaking and media arts at Cleavland State University.
How did you discover your passion for filmmaking?
When I was young, my dad got me a phone with a camera for an educational trip to Shimla and Himachal Pradesh in India. I was 13 at the time and I loved taking pictures of random things like cows on the street, Indian markets and people waiting for the bus. The pictures were not great, but I started taking a lot of them and I moved to recording things and people. I always wanted to talk to new people and listen to their story as every person's journey is different and unique. I loved being surrounded by people. That’s when I decided I wanted to make films for the rest of my life — working with new people to tell new stories to the world.
What’s your favorite part about creating?
For me, creating a film requires a creative process, which is the best part. I remember in high school I was unsure about what I wanted to do in life. I kept thinking I didn’t want to work the same job every single day for my whole life. This is where the best part about creating or performing comes in. I can play a different character each time and write about different things from my perspective. The whole creative process makes me take a philosophical view on different things, which is my favorite part of filmmaking.
Why did you pick this particular college?
I was planning to start my college career in the fall like everyone else, but I was too excited. I asked my mom and dad to book the first summer flight to Cleveland, and I was here! I took a gap year after high school to decide want I really wanted to do in life. When I finally decided I wanted to study film, I could not wait to get started at Cleveland State University's Arts Campus.
What has been your favorite part of this college?
As an international student from India, CSU has given me opportunities to create many things. I know that once I graduate from the film school, I will not have the same access to valuable resources. For example, now I have a free crew and professionals to help support me when I make mistakes. The best part about college is we can make mistakes and correct them. I have learned more from my mistakes than I ever expected. My professors and fellow students are super helpful.
How do you think this program will help in what you want to do next?
Filmmaking requires a lot of preparation, planning and hard work. The most important lesson I will take from CSU’s film program is diversity of perspective and experience. Experience is important for making a film. Learning the basics of researching, public speaking and ethics will help me in the future.
Where do you imagine yourself in 10 years?
Honestly, I don't know! In the past four years my life has changed drastically, moving from India to the United States. I could work in Bollywood (Indian film industry), or act in some of the Bollywood films. However, I picture myself traveling to different places around the globe shooting films. It’s really hard for me to think about tomorrow because today is not yet finished!