Jasraj Singh Bhatti has come into his own and tried to grow out of the shadow of his successful parents. But he credits them for his achievements.
At 26, Jasraj Singh Bhatti has been called an 'internationally award winning' filmmaker. However, considering the fact that he has been working since he was 19, it's no mean feat and the growth has been directly proportional to the hard work that he put in.
Having learnt film editing, graphic designing and animation visualisation, Jasraj is also the creative head at Mad Arts (his father, actor Jaspal Bhatti's film and animation studio in SAS Nagar), and has already worked as a cartoonist for a leading English daily's weekly supplement for 11 years now. What's more, he has to his credit a horde of awards and nominations at prestigious film festivals all over the world.
After his first short film on underage driving titled Ladla Driver came out when he was 19, there began a spate of laurels for the young artist. "The script was written by my dad and directed by me. It was quite encouraging when it was screened at Katha Asian Film Festval, New Delhi," Jasraj smiles.
Mentioning his other works and consequent awards, he adds, "In 2009, my first animation short film, Nanhi Chidiya, won the 'best story award' at the IDPA (Indian Documentary Producers Association). I also won a bronze medal in documentary filmmaking at III Delphic Games in South Korea in 2009."
Another of his animation films, Bunty's Tree (2011), received the award for animation at Best Shorts Competition in Los Angeles, US, in 2011. This film also received nominations at Sandfly Film Festival, Australia, and at CMS Vatavaran, an Indian environment and wildlife film festival.
With such acclaim to his name, Jasraj is termed fortunate to have been born to popular parents, actor-director Jaspal Bhatti and actor Savita Bhatti. Acknowledging this, he says, "I am what I am because of my father, and of course, my mom. My father writes all my scripts, keeping alive comedy with logic. I am trying to follow the same."
However, Jasraj clarifies that he isn't greedy about being in the limelight, but would rather have his work speak for him. "Undoubtedly, I am at an advantage as compared to other youngsters. But it is more important how I manage the resources given to me. Now, if I am provided with a designing studio and computers and I don't work hard, what help would my background provide? So,
utilising the facilities provided to me without hesitating to work hard is my real success," he shares.
Jasraj will now make a debut as an actor in his father's film, Power Cut, which will release by August end. He informs, "It's my debut in the acting world. To be a successful director, I need to know this side of the world too. My dad saw a close similarity between the character and me, and so I was chosen for the lead along, with with my close friend, Surilie Gautam (actor Yami Gautam's sister)." The film, he tells us, is a satire on the grim power situation in the region that leads to frequent power cuts.
In an offhand manner, Jasraj shares that he is also the film's associate director, editor, animation visualisor and designer.
Next up, the young actor-director has carefully demarcated skills that he would like to better in, to be a successful director. Apart from improving his writing, he would like to learn to research more on his projects. "I believe that to create something, full control over it is essential, and that can just come with learning everything connected with direction." He also plans to settle in Mumbai, now that he's already there for the post-production work of Power Cut, and thereafter assist directors such as Raj Kumar Hirani.
Finally, in the 'land of dreams', Jasraj would like to make his own mark. "I know it would be difficult working under someone other than my father. It's not that till date I haven't done things on my own, its just that I want be out of that protected umbrella. I doubt anyone can match my father's thought process when it comes to churning ideas, but to grow, I need to work with others too," he wraps up.