Neeti Kejriwal is a young filmmaker from India, currently based in Chicago. Her filmmaking is often inspired by directors like Andrei Tarkovsky, Terrence Malick, Paul Thomas Anderson, and many more. Her practice is informed by various other media including sculpture, illustration, and writing. She spent two years at a Diploma course for Commercial Design at Sophia Polytechnic, Mumbai, India (2013-2015) and then transferred to School of the Art Institute of Chicago, U.S. (2016-present) to complete her Bachelors Degree in Fine arts with an emphasis in Film. She has worked collaboratively on several short films taking the role of the writer, director, cinematographer and editor. She is currently working on a film adaptation of one of Shakespeare’s plays.
I regard the sensory perception of all things in life as a central inspiration for my art. Stories come through naturally if a particular scent, touch, or emotion has moved me, bringing it all back to the essence of things and resulting in films that aim to evoke the tangibility of memory.
Through experiences one can tell stories that resound most deeply in the human heart. To expand on that, my first few childhood memories were with animals. A form of existential realization brought more awareness to my own ‘being.’ Understanding what truly makes us human, and why we conceive other creatures ‘monstrous’ is of great interest. I like to return to nature every night, and this is the most important part of my practice.
Gesamkunstwerk, or the all embracing art form, is how I approach filmmaking. Every aspect of life is relevant to understanding the emotional, universal, and experiential elements within film.
One of the films I have worked on in the past has brought several elements from Indian mythology, literature and history together. Captain Nemo, a seafaring outcast of society, leads the submarine- Nautilus in the novel 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea by Jules Verne. The film traces the character’s past as an Indian prince- Prince Dakkar, and how he transforms to the ‘nameless’ one as Captain Nemo.
Currently I am working on a series of short films inspired from Shakespearean works, called ‘The Mad King Monologues’ recited by King Lear, Macbeth and Richard III. These monologues are displaced from the time period that they are originally set in.