Deesh Mariwala - Filmmaker - Résumé
My professional background has spanned over 19 years in the media, communication and entertainment industries. Beginning with professional theatre, debating and public speaking in high school, I went on to join the advertising industry and then the business of advertising films, was involved with the early years of satellite television, then with feature films, while I continued working in professional theatre, events and entertainment in my free time.
As a filmmaker beginning in the early 90’s, I’ve worked with some of the biggest names in the Indian Film Industry both in Hindi and Tamil – AR Rahman did music for all my early films, I’ve worked with Mani Ratnam, Shekhar Kapur, Rajiv Menon, Kundan Shah, K Rajeshwar, Manohar Prasad, Dr. Murli Manohar, Kamlesh Pandey, Ram Gopal Varma, Anjum Rajabali, among many others.
1990: Began as a writer with Profad Limited, Chennai
1991 – 1992: With Goldwire Communications as first as Production Coordinator, then Writer, Director, Executive Producer and Editor of the pathbreaking MRF Commercials, Corporate Videos, Documentaries, and ads for both national and international clients. Most of these had music scored by AR Rahman.
1993: Chief Executive and Founder of Gemini Television, a Television software company owned by Gemini studios that rapidly grew into one of India’s first television channels, was largely responsible for introducing Hi-8 as an alternative format for TV in India. Directed and/or Executive Produced all their projects personally in that first year.
1994: Executive Produced three commercials for Ariel Washing Powder, functioned as creative and technical consultant to Weekend Films and Rogopag films in Bombay, to Gold Television in Madras, and worked on Mani Ratnam’s film’ Bombay.’
1995: Joined BiTV (Business India Television) as Director, and produced, directed, wrote and edited a string of programs – working under Shekhar Kapur and Kamlesh Pandey.
1996: Was hired as creative and technical consultant at Crest Communications to completely redesign and repackage Doordarshan’s Metro channels and help create new age styling, promos, look and feel for India’s premier TV channel. Also developed two feature film projects with the Director Kundan Shah as Associate Director and Writer.
1997: Started working as Location Scout, Casting Director and ExecutiveProducer/Line Producer on foreign feature Films and Commercials being shot in India; produced and directed television programming for Aalayam Cinema, Mani Ratnams production outfit.
1998: Executive Producer for the India episodes of Road Rules (the world’s first major reality show) for MTV USA
1998: India Executive Producer, Casting and all locations for the Italian language feature film ‘Gills’ directed by award winning filmmaker Francesco Ranieri Martinotti, produced by Fulvio Ottanavio.
1999: Executive Producer, Scripting/Dialogues, and First AD for the Hollywood Film “The Thief of Baghdad” directed by Douchan Gersi. Also did Casting on three foreign film projects for Uma DaCunha, India’s foremost casting agent.
2000: Pre-Production Executive Producer and First AD for “The Return of the Thief of Bagdad” directed by Gordon Hessler;
2000: Executive producer and Associate Director, Additional Dialogue, & Casting for English language feature film “The Spirit”.
2001: Consultant Creative Director to Profad and Designet – advertising agencies. Artistic Director at Pheromone Live Entertainment; produced and created events for Inmatch, ITC, MGM; freelance food and event reviews for the Times of India and Indian Express. Was chosen as one of nine directors from the Indian sub-continent to work on new plays in English for the Royal Court Theatre, London
2002: Vice President of Ad Syndicate – an advertising agency in Karnataka – more than doubling business in Mangalore, Bangalore, and Manipal in just 6 months during a negative growth period for the industry; was also honorary Vice president of Concept Advertising during this period through a strategic alliance.
2003: Needed a break from Advertising, Films and Television: decided to take an early retirement and travelled the country, worked with children, conducted workshops and generally indulged a lot of my retirement whims and fancies for about 5 years. Also produced a slew of theatrical productions under my own banner: The Grossly Commercial Theatre Company.
2008 June: Decided to come out of retirement from filmmaking and return to Bombay. Started off as Executive Producer for an Indo German collaborative mixed media production “Electronic City” directed by Johannes Von Matuschka which premiered in Chennai on the 3rd August.
2008 August till November: Creative Director for a 48-part biopic on the life of Indira Gandhi for 9X productions. This project was put indefinitely on hold after the strike and recession in the industry in Oct 2008.
November 2008 till January 2009: Executive Producer for the Sri Lanka shoot of the feature film ‘Agyaat’ directed by Ram Gopal Varma.
March till May 2009: Consultant Creative Director for Drishtant Media’s Aap Ki Antara (pre-shoot).
July 2009 till April 2010: Consultant Creative Director and Senior Producer for the Music of India Foundation and Awards, an organisation to further all genres of Indian Music, especially folk and alternative forms. Also as director on Corporate and Ad films for Green Light Entertainment.
April till July 2010: Creative Director for the MTV reality show - Polo Ultimate Drive - shot across 5 cities in India, and culminating at the racetrack in Madras.
September 2010 till October 2011: Creative Head at UTV Television - helmed Big Switch 2, headed an AFP department and a concept development team working on some very cutting edge ideas of my own for television.
November 2011 till date: Creative Director at SOL Production - conceptualising, developing and pitching new ideas and shows that should go into production very soon indeed.