At the LIFFT India festival, he along with his team members were seen organizing the seamless screening of films in accordance with the schedule.
There’s drama, romance and it’s filmy: Amardeep Singh Khichi on his tie-up with LIFFT India
Lonavala - 22 Sep 2017 9:00 IST
Amardeep Singh Khichi or Amar as he is popularly known, straddles two worlds — as the founder and director of Ask World Studio Pvt. Ltd. and luvstay.com. While one is a more cerebral activity that requires technical expertise, the latter is to do with matters of the heart and is more filmy in its offering.
At the LIFFT India festival, he along with his team members were seen organizing the seamless screening of films in accordance with the schedule. He also managed to perform the remarkable feat of avoiding any technical glitches during the festival.
In an exclusive chat with Cinestaan.com, Amar talks about his association with the festival and the inspiration behind the creation of these unique entities.
How did you come to be associated with LIFFT India?
When Riju ji [Riju Bajaj] called me and told me about the festival, he asked if I would like to come aboard and be a part of the team. I asked him the ways in which I could contribute to the festival. He told me that, while he would bring the films, they would need to be streamlined, scheduled, and run in the correct format.
We also needed to ensure that the filmmakers wouldn’t need to incur too much of an expenditure while sending their films so the format had to be requested for accordingly. In the previous festival also we had asked for particular formats for films.
So, you were associated with the festival last year as well?
Yes, but with the things that happened with the previous festival, we were quite demotivated and had to pick ourselves up and generate excitement for this festival. We did a lot of brainstorming for the name — we thought of LIFFY and several other names. The ‘I’ in LIFFT was originally for India but then the ‘I’ took on various meanings, it stood for illusion, information…
Infotainment, as Riju Bajaj had mentioned earlier.
Exactly, infotainment, which includes the arts, music, theatre, photographs, paintings etc.
So effectively, this year, the technical requirements of the festival changed completely. Last year, we had only run a film festival but this year, the set-up changed to include so many things. This is such a big event in Lonavala and my company Ask World provides creative consultancy, content production and idea execution, so the idea execution part of it merged with the festival beautifully as it was Riju’s idea which needed to be executed. So, we planned accordingly and have run the festival smoothly.
What does your company do?
We are mainly based in Mumbai and have a set-up in Delhi also. Along with Ask Media, we also have Luvstay (website), which is also a part of the festival.
Through Luvstay we promote love in the country by providing married and unmarried couples with hotel rooms along with their safety and security. We don’t want them to be forced to spend time on park benches, by the roadside, scribbling their names on historical monuments, etc. Our company provides a space for them to spend time together and as adults they have a right to their privacy.
This is a very unusual idea. When did you start this concept?
We started the company last year. My friend had an incident when he was travelling and while people will get a room in a 5-star hotel, regular people find it difficult to get a room on their local IDs. There’s also a strange fear in the minds of the hotel owners which we had to tackle. There is a law that states that if a person is above the age of 18, no hotel can deny them a place to stay as long as they have a valid local ID.
How did you confront the prejudice in the minds of the people regarding this?
First, we put the laws and other information on our blog. We then met the police officers and informed them about the law. Slowly, they became convinced. We are in almost every city currently. We have received such a good response as people have told us that earlier they would be at pains to find a place to celebrate their birthday in some privacy, but they’ve found a solution through Luvstay!
We have a website, an app and have even got enquiries from the Philippines and other countries abroad. We want that every couple should have the freedom to be together and we are just the provider of what is their right.
You said that this is for married and unmarried couples. Do married people seek out privacy within the city where they are living?
Yes, because it’s quite odd that parents are okay with arranged marriages where they get their child married to a stranger and then they start asking for a child. They do not allow the space for the couple to be together, to get to know each other. One should allow them the space to be together and we are providing the space for married couples as they also may not find that space in a joint family.
So while Ask Media has a direct relevance for the technical aspects of the festival, the Luvstay partnership is filmy in its theme as its creating spaces for couples to be together.
Yes, there’s drama, there’s romance and it’s filmy!