Breathing Films

“The only way to do great work is to love what you do.”

Manahar Kumar is extremely passionate about acting, directing and film making. So much so, that he switched his stream from engineering to mass communication in college (society: “Haaw. Ho gayi life barbaad!”). Currently in third year, he is pursuing a Bachelors degree in Mass Communication from Manipal Institute of Mass Communication and has already lived several lives by participating in lots of staged productions.

His love for theatre bloomed when he was in class nine. His school staged a play, The Lion King on the occasion of its Golden Jubilee celebration in which he bagged the role of the Hyena. This was the first time that he consciously interacted with a huge audience and was greatly appreciated. Quite naturally, his first thoughts about a future career tended towards Acting.

Manahar has never looked back since. He has been a part of Wings Theatre Academy, Chandigarh and has acted in plays like Mothers Day by J.B Priestly and The Night of January the 16th by Ayn Rand. He even interned at the Academy this summer as an Assistant Director and played the lead role of Juror 8 in 12 Angry Jurors by Reginald Rose. He received a lot of acclaim and appreciation for cracking the difficult and enigmatic character.

12 Angry Jurors
12 Angry Jurors

A part of two theatre groups in college, Dramanon Manipal and Aaina Dramatics, he has directed and acted in several plays including the popular ‘nukkad nataks’ that have won prizes in inter college fests of VIT Velore, Bits Pillani, IIT Mumbai, etc. He remembers fondly, “As soon as I reached IIT Mumbai, I texted my mum saying, Maa tera beta IIT pahunch hi gaya!?” The many plays he has been a part of include Tara and On a Muggy Night in Mumbai by Mahesh Dattani, Jack vs Jill by Robert Blakeman, Arsenic and Old Lace by Joseph Kesselring and The Mouse Trap by Agatha Christie.

Manahar’s interests extend to film making and directing too. He has co-produced, directed and acted in several short films that include Time to Make a Difference(2013), Pehchan (which won the first prize in the SRCC Annual Festival, 2014), The Sensible Indian (which won the third prize in the Short Film making Competition) and Bottled Dreams which is a short documentary.

Pehchan - A short film
Pehchan – A short film
A documentary
A documentary

Manahar has also been conducting interesting social experiments in Chandigarh and Manipal which include Chandigarh on Love and Heartbreaks, Manipal on Relationships and Manipal on Manipal. Moreover, Dramanon Manipal’s in house band, Nothing But Treble, recently recorded the famous song Chulein Aasman in association with MARD (Men Against Rape and Discrimination-headed by Farhan Akhtar) and UnTied Laces (co-founded by Manahar) whose video was shot and edited by him.

'Chulein Aasman' cover video edited by Manahar
‘Chulein Aasman’ cover video shot and edited by Manahar

Manahar continues to explore the different facets of his field and advance his knowledge and experience. He has a lot to learn and do and has several projects up his sleeve. He was recently chosen to be the official Director of Dramanon Manipal which has been recognized by Broadway World as one of the top 20 theatre companies in India.

His advice to young actors, artists and aspiring film makers is, “Don’t be reluctant to follow your dreams. Believe in yourself and know that you have the magic in you to change the world. Have a clear vision, be focused and determined. Don’t let the muggles bring you down,” he adds with a smile.

 

 

 

  • Noor Kumar

    16. Student of Carmel Convent. Writer. Blogger. Love dancing, reading and doing theatre. Learning french. Appreciate feedback. Still trying to discover myself and what I want to do in this haphazard world! Happy person :)

    • Show Comments (3)

    • Amarpreet Singh

      It seems like yesterday, but don’t know how many years have passed since I have been seeing your plays and watching your videos and documentaries on youtube. Feel so proud of you! I know you will do even better in the future! Just keep following your dreams.
      My wishes are always with you and hope to see you fly even higher!
      Cheers!

    • TheBabaNextDoor

      Manahar is hungry. He’s starving. He always has been, he is and he will continue to. He devours everything around him. The people. The environment. He just consumes all of it. And then spits it back out, but even better. Some people would say he’s grown. But what he’s done and is doing isn’t growing. Growth is a natural phenomenon. What Manahar is doing, building, constructing, synthesizing…It’s so much more. There’s an almost unholy drive behind him. The number of sleepless nights. The number of plays and productions and videos. The amount of information he just absorbs day after day. He’s constantly in a race with himself. Every month, every week, every second…He has to have bettered himself in some way or the other. Not just because he enjoys it, because he wants to bring something forward to other people, or because he has to get better. He needs to. It’s a primal urge to survive. If he doesn’t do it. He might as well be just another muggle.

    • Pooja Kumar

      Manahar I’m so proud of you. Just be true to yourself and your work. The world will be your stage. Keep going!

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