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Fully filmi

RJ Anirudh Chawla introduces JAM to the Filmwallahs, a community that acts as a support system for people from the film industry

What is Filmwallahs about?
It’s a community of people related to the film industry – actors, writers, casting directors, music directors, cameramen, cinematographers and many others. We work to help each other.

How does it work?
The fee is Rs 500 for an annual membership and Rs 1,500 for members from outside Mumbai. We meet everyday at the Café Coffee Day in Lokhandwala from 6 pm to 9 pm. The basic idea is to create a talent pool. So, we share information on where auditions are on, the new launches of TV shows and films and so on. We also discuss movies and review them, and of course, there is the gossip that is very often too hot for even the tabloids to print!
We’ve grown a lot in just five months. I started in February with 5-10 people and we now have 900 members. I’ve had a lot of support from the media and I want to thank them for that. Lots of people have gotten work through us and it’s really great to see the power of numbers working. As a nice little side effect, we’ve all made a lot of friends.

And how did it begin?
Filmwallahs came about when I was looking for technicians and cameramen for my film, but didn’t have many people to choose from. That was when I decided to gather people together. What we do now is refer or provide contacts to our members, which always works better because people treat you with respect and you get a lot more credibility when you go with someone’s reference.

So, have you bid goodbye to radio?
Not at all. Radio is my first love and I’ll continue with it. Films allow me to express myself on a larger scale. I have a lot of stories to tell and want to reach out to the largest number of people possible.

Tell us more about your film?
My film is called KLPD — Kisses, Love, Phillum and Dosti. It’s very close to my heart, because it’s got all my own experiences as well as other people’s stories about their emotional and sexual relationships. It’s going to be very controversial.

Final word?
I want this club to grow further. It helps everybody from the industry. For example, there was this model who had come from Delhi and needed a place to stay, get his portfolio done contacts choreographers and casting directors. We not only gave him contacts of casting directors and photographers, but he also ended up staying with a fellow Filmwallah. This is what we want. And the best part is anyone who is interested can join us. We are even present on Facebook, so that makes establishing contact with us even simpler.

Anirudh Chawla immigrated to Canada when he was 15. He has done his radio from there and even went on to become a radio host in Canada. He moved to Mumbai about six years back and joined All India Radio from where he moved on to Radio City and finally Big FM.

He has hosted talk shows that dealt with love, relationships and sexuality. He was also a co-dialogue writer for the Sunny Deol starrer Dillagi.

Anirudh has been associated with television too. He has written for Star Plus’s Khul Jaa Sim Sim and hosted TV shows like Krazy Kiya Re on IBN7.

-Saurabh Datar

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