Karan Battan - An Actor in the Crossroads of Australian-Indian Films!
Yes, you've heard it right... Australian-Indian Film Industry... it is fast becoming a reality! Yes, it is evolving, it is being noticed, albeit still within the Indian diaspora circle, but people are trying... trying to tell their own stories in a foreign land, which they now call home!
Many aspiring Australia based Indian filmmakers, actors, choreographers and a few very experienced media persons from India, who chose to make Australia their home are trying their hand on making Australia based Indian content... and it is time to start talking about them, it is time to applaud them for their effort... it is time for recognising their talents... and undoubtedly, one of them is Karan Battan... who has been working on various Australian-Indian projects since 2012.
Some might dispute my usage/coinage of the term Australian-Indian Films, some might even say it is simply non-existent, some would be more accommodating in a polite manner, attempting to put it within the forewall of the Australian cinema, but at the moment I will stick to this term Australian-Indian films that in its own way has paved way for hard working Australian-Indian film/media persons to carve their path and find direction in the genre and language that they are more comfortable in.
Karan Battan moved to Australia in the year 2005. A native of Chandigarh, Karan did his Master of IT from Kurukshetra University before moving to Australia. He dabbled into various business projects but acting being his calling, a certificate course from the prestigious Victorian College of Arts, Melbourne moved him into full time acting. From working in Australian TV shows as an extra to landing some small roles, it was this evolving Australian-Indian films that welcomed him with an open arms. Karan has now featured in more than four films in which he has been able to display his acting skills quite well.
In a recent screening of his short film IDIOT "I Do Ishq Only Tumse", audience applauded his acting efforts, Karan singlehandedly was able to drive forward the narrative in an effective manner, even though the plot was wafer thin.
Karan recalls his long struggle, "I was always passionate about acting, I started my acting career in 2012 with some guest appearance in various Australian TV series. In 2013 i started working in Indian theatre and short films. After completing my diploma in acting from Victorian College of Arts, I did many short films in different languages."
The struggle was constant, as the Australian media hardly has any opening for people other that caucasian background, and for an Indian to get a break in some Australian TV content is still tough... so the way was to find roles in these upcoming Australian-Indian short films that people were trying their hands in, to explore the market within the diaspora community.
Karan adds, "one of my short film MATCH got selected in MIFF (Melbourne International Film Festival) and screened at HOYTS; I played the lead role in this film. Of course, it was not a easy journey, but finally some of my hard work has started paying off, with the ambit of the Australian-Indian films getting a bit bigger, and some projects also finding producers and getting paid for the work, was a fresh change".
Karan is a bit apprehensive about how this Australian-Indian films that is in its nascent stage will grow? He thinks, a discussion in mainstream media about the effort of the filmmakers and the people involved in these films and the ways these films can be made available to a wider audience might pave way for the recognition of the massive effort that the Australian-Indian media persons are putting in to create content for the ethnic/multi-cultural communities.
Karan finds that his work is being rewarded now, as he is really ecstatic about getting a chance to work with the Punjabi film super star - Diljit Dosanjh in the punjabi film The Return of Sardaar Ji, a sequel to 2015 blockbuster Sardaarji. He has also landed the lead negative role in another Punjabi film Big Daddy. A break in these two Punjabi films have made Karan to ponder upon taking a chance in Bollywood, the Mumbai based Hindi film industry; soon he will take that leap.. but before that he will continue to collaborate with his Australian-Indian filmmaker friends, to bring the stories of Indians in Australia.... in the hope that someday their efforts will be recognised...
Make Up Artist - Sylvia Chawla (for the Studio Interview):