Sudarshan Juyal is a filmmaker and an artist who loves using materials around him to create simple functional and aesthetic craft.
Sudarshan Juyal was born and brought up in Nainital. It’s a Himalayan resort town in the Kumaon region of India’s Uttarakhand state. He completed his school and college education from Nainital. He says at that time we did not had the facilities of internet, movie halls etc. So most of the time we used to inculcate our hobbies and interest like playing and participating in kinds of cultural activities. Sudarshan Juyal was a multitalented student during his college days. A bright student who was always ready to participate in any events. Behind his success he always complements his teachers, “they always inspired me to follow the dreams of my own. My teachers were also involved in ample of story writing, plays and theatre. So this is how I got sensitized towards theatre and cinema. After completing my graduation from Uttarakhand I joined a renowned theatre called “YugManch”, which was one of the best theatre in Uttarakhand. YugManch was the theatre who made a play “Andher Nagri Chopal”. It was a revolution for a theatre world. This play was based on political issues. Many of the politician had been highlighted. And after that my interest for theatre became more stronger.”
In 1983, Sudarshan Juyal joined NSD (National School Of Drama), New Delhi. Joining NSD is like a dream for all those who want to be an actor. Mr. Juyal Says “It was a new phase of life for me. A boy like me coming from a small town of Uttarakhand. It was a great exposure for me. During my NSD days I completed so many of film appreciation courses. Got chances to work with national and international Filmmakers, Musicians, Poets and Writers. In 1986 I graduated from NSD with flying colors.”
After NSD Sudarshan Juyal continued his work in theatre for almost next 2 years. During this period he was not associated with any specific theatre group rather he worked with many of them. He continues, “It was amazing experience and ample of learning. That’s how I spent my initial struggling days. Fortunately in 1988 I got through the FTII (Film and Television Institute Of India). The time in FTII was a great process of interaction with knowledgeable people. It was a step of learning to become a filmmaker. After passing out form FTII, in 1991, I joined Shekhar Kapoor as an Assistant Director and Writer and worked with him in Bandit Queen. I got a chance to assist Vijay Anand as well. While the days when I was working with Shekhar kapoor, I was quite inclined and fascinated towards Television world. So I directed many serials and among them “Reporter” was one of my favourite. Later on when I completely dedicated myself towards television I joined Sahara 1 as a programming head.”
He says after 10 years of learning and working experiences he decided to come back to my home town. “I started interacting with young generation about their interest. I realized most of the time I was working for a T.V channel and the crushing, oppressive corporate culture took up most of my time. Sunday was the only day I spent time with my son Aditya and wife Sunita, and that too was spent visiting malls, restaurants and places where one ended up buying things, eating fast food or window shopping. That was the idea of ‘A Good Life’. Then one day I met Shammi Nanda, who has studied at FTII Pune too. Shammi had a proposal that we should do something on weekends with the children of some friends. As I indulge in a little Origami in my spare time, she roped me in for Origami workshops. Thus began the discovery of real joy.”
Talking about his family situation mr. Juyal says, “On the personal front, it was a difficult time for me. My wife was going through a traumatic phase as she had been suffering from schizophrenia for the past few years. My relationship with many close ones had become strained. She had completely cut herself off from our regular social circles and I too started shying from social gatherings of any kind. My son Aditya was becoming affected by this. My self-esteem was the lowest it ever was and Mumbai was getting on my nerves. Like most people slogging for a greedy corporate sector, I had lost touch with the real work.
We discovered the dignity of labour, the beauty of small things and futility of greed and vanity. I am still very far from a meaningful existence and my wife is still struggling with her condition, but the intensity of misery is far less than it would have been. I have managed to gather courage to move to my hometown in Uttarakhand (Dehradun) and do the things I like. I am trying to reduce my carbon footprint. My relationships with old friends and family have been rejuvenated. My son Aditya has grown into a chirpy, well-meaning boy and I feel more connected to people and my family.
Talking about Cinema in Uttarakhand and specially in Garhwal region, mr. Juyal says, “In today’s time Garhwali Cinema has lost its designation. There are no facilities of cinema hall. There are few multiplexes in the town, which follows the Bollywood films. They do not have the facility to release the Regional feature films. Local Filmmakers are not coming with any new films and ideas as they do not get any apprehensive platform. Few few filmmakers still make their film just because they have a political support and strong financial condition. It’s the truth and sad that Garhwali cinema is lost somewhere in the midst. Filmmakers like Prashar Gaur worked tremendously to up bring the Hill State Cinema but its actually lost his vows.”