|Born||March 6, 1970|
Nadiad, Gujarat, India
|Years active||1995 - present|
|Organization||G K Makwana Films|
|Known for||The Colour of Darkness|
|Height||5 ft (152 cm)|
Girish Makwana (born 6 March, 1970) is an Indian film director, writer, musician, producer and composer. He is the founder of G K Makwana Films, an independent production house based in Australia. Makwana is a renowned tabla maestro and is best known for his debut international film, The Colour of Darkness. Makwana’s production house is a beacon of illumination of both the western and Indian cultural diasporas. Makwana became the first Indian to be selected for a PhD course at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music.
Makwana eventually drifted into film direction and production after the success of his short films: A Musical Journey (2010), The Gift (2010) and Tihai 3 (2011). These short films are a reflection of his skills as a filmmaker.
Early life and education
Makwana was born in Nadiad, a town in Gujarat, India. He is the son of Sharda Makwana and Kanti Makwana who is a highly acclaimed Gujarati writer and a social activist. Makwana suffered from a polio attack when he was about two years old, which affected his left leg for a lifetime. This resulted in Makwana spending 2 years in a hostel for disabled people at the age of 10. Makwana also edured socioeconomic discrimination in India.
Makwana started playing musical instruments such as tabla and harmonium from a very young age. He gave his very first performance at the age of 14.
Makwana pursued a bachelor’s course in microbiology after completing his high school in Nadiad. Soon he recognised his calling in life and his interest in performing arts. Makwana then pursued a bachelor’s course in music (tabla and singing) from the Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda which Makwana continued and earned a master’s degree as well. During this course, Makwana travelled East and South Africa and performed on several shows.
Makwana in 1999 was selected for a Phd course in Music Composition at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music where he worked to produce an electronic version of the tabla tarang. He became the very first Indian to be selected for this course. During this course, Makwana collaborated with several artists. In 2002, Makwana shifted back to India, which resulted in him dropping out of the course. He gave his thesis in 2005, when he relocated Melbourne and continued his performance across the city. Later on, Makwana pursued a master’s course in Film and Television from RMIT University, graduating in 2012. He also pursued a diploma course in Screen and Media from RMIT.
Makwana in 2005 started a musical group named Tihai. It was a three member group which included Saby Bhattacharya (sarod), Nicolas Buff (saxophone) and himself who played tabla. This group was known for its unique composition that incorporated Indian classical music. Tihai has performed in several countries around the world from New Zealand, Singapore, and Kenya, to Tanzania and South Africa. They collaborated with a variety of musicians and practised Indian classical, jazz and other forms western classical & electronic music. They have been a part of several festivals including Darebin Music Festival, Quiet Music festival, Boait Spring Festival, the Bollywood Music Festival at Castlemaine, Preston symphony Orchestra and Tihai3.
2010 marked the beginning of Makwana’s shift to the Film & Tv industry. He commenced his Film and Television course where he learned the ropes of direction and production. During this time he created his first short film My Musical Journey followed by The Gift, yet another short film.
In 2011, Makwana directed and produced Tihai 3, a documentary film based on his musical group and their shared passion for music. This film highlights the group’s journey where all the three members even after belonging to different cultures connect and form music, compiling music that is representative of them.
Makwana’s new film Sadhu is set to be released in 2022-23.
His mother Sharda Makwana is a retired primary school principal and his father, Kanti Makwana is a highly acclaimed Gujarati writer and a social activist. His father is also a lawyer and a retired principal of a high school in Nadiad. Makwana suffered from a polio attack when he was one and a half years old. This affected his left leg for a lifetime. Later on at the age of 10, Makwana spent 2 years in a hostel for disabled people. Makwana also edured socioeconomic discrimination in India.
In the media
- Weekly, Indian (2016-08-04). "THE COLOUR OF DARKNESS". The Indian Weekly. Retrieved 2020-08-05.
- "Girish Makwana". IMDb. Retrieved 2020-08-04.
- "Girish Makwana - Movies, Biography, News, Age & Photos". BookMyShow. Retrieved 2020-08-04.
- R, Smitha (2017-10-12). "NRG's film on caste divides told to bleep out 'achhoot'". DNA India. Retrieved 2020-08-05.
- "The Colour of Darkness, movie directed By Girish Makwana Releasing On 25 of May In India". tennews.in: National News Portal - Breaking News, Live News, Delhi News, Noida News, National News, Politics, Business, Education, Medical, Films, Features. 2017-05-15. Retrieved 2020-08-05.
- Ross, Annabel (2013-09-22). "The music's the thing in Bollywood feast". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 2020-08-05.
- "The Colour of Darkness | DHAKA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL". Retrieved 2020-08-04.
- "Girish Makwana". South Asia Times. Retrieved 2020-08-04.
- Sun, The Indian (2013-12-11). "Makwana's music". The Indian Sun. Retrieved 2020-08-04.
- "New film crosses the cultural divide". Westender - West End 4101. 2017-05-15. Retrieved 2020-08-05.
- Kothari, Urvish (2018-03-24). "The Colour of Darkness – film by Girish Makwana". gujarati world. Retrieved 2020-08-05.
- "Top 5 tips for getting your first film made". www.rmit.edu.au. Retrieved 2020-08-05.