“Every frame is my Canvas; I paint these with light..”: Avant-garde Director of Photography Aakshay Parab

The young Los Angeles based Director of Photography and Digital Colorist Aakshay Parab weaves magical visual narratives by getting the strokes right between realism and a dash of experimental dramatic illusion. The award wining Cineaste describes his passion as, “Every frame is my Canvas; I paint these with light to weave my visuals for the narrative”. His themes largely revolve around the downtrodden and minorities. “They are the indicators of the health of our society” affirms Aakshay.

His strong art-house style approach for such thematic visual narratives has won him accolades and nominations from various film festivals. His art has evolved from his passion as an avid storyteller and child artist while growing up in Mumbai, in his home country India.

A complete cinephile, Aakshay decided to give his passion for films a professional upgrade. In 2012, he specialized in film producing at the renowned Whistling Woods International in Mumbai. Amongst his initial projects as a budding filmmaker, Projekt Tyler, his first documentary earned him the 2014 nomination at the Mumbai International Film Festival for Best International Documentary Under Forty Minutes and National Academy of Cinema & Television, Bangalore for Best International Documentary. His first large scale production was his producing thesis Ram’ji’bhai. It was nominated for Short of The Month – January in Mumbai, the Official Selection in 2015 Navi Mumbai International Film Festival and also won the Best Student Film in Festival Of Cinematics. The success of these and his other projects propelled him to further enter, survive, and thrive in the competitive world of independent films. It was during this time period that he felt the instinctive urge to specialize in the technical aspect of filming and step up for the next stage. In 2015, he went on to specialize in Cinematography, at the New York Film Academy, New York City. In 2016, Projekt Tyler went on to win the Fame-US Bronze Award at the Fame-US International Film Festival in Hollywood, California.

Aakshay states: “As a Director of Photography and Digital Colorist, I prefer contributing to films concerning ‘the insignificant’, whose woes get systematically muffled on a daily basis within our social structure. We need to bring that to the very conscience of our society through art. With art comes responsibility”.

Aakshay’s notable works concerning women as central figures to the story has gained recognition in a very short span of time. His goal to touch the conscience of his audience with his message seems to be bearing fruits. The Moment is one such noteworthy

woman-centric short for which he was the Director of Photography and Digital Colorist as well. He chose to give a strong Hitchcockian dash to his own stylistic high contrast and low key light design to maintain the overall tension in his film. The Moment went on to win the Award of Recognition for Film Short at The Accolade Global Film Competition in 2016.

Another of his women-centric films is The Derelict. He was its Writer- Director and Director of Photography. It screened at the New York Short Film Festival in November 2016 and was also an Official Selection of the Autumn 2016 Creation International Film Festival.

Amongst his films to look forward to in 2017, is the urban fictions Grab N’ Go, and
24Hours. He had been the Director of Photography and Digital Colorist for both.

Aakshay has seen a steady and purposeful growth in his career not only as a Director and a Director of Photography, but also as a Digital Colorist. “The role of a colorist in completion of the film is exactly that of a painter who paints a canvas” says Aakshay. He has worked on varied themes and color palettes for different projects. One Chance, directed by Joseph E. Austin II, was his most challenging project as a Digital Colorist.

Aakshay considers the art of filmmaking a societal responsibility. This led him to join like- minded cineastes by being the member of the prestigious Film Independent Society, Independent Filmmaker Project and Colorist Society International.

He is affirmative about contributing significantly and ceaselessly in his own distinctive and humble ways to the cinema of today. Aakshay aims for positive change in the lives of objectified minorities like women and the LGBT among others. His upcoming projects as a Director of Photography include a rom-com web series, an action feature and a drama- adventure web series among others.