Profession | Actor/Director
Bio: Kenny Basumatary is a writer, actor and director from Assam. He is well-known for being the main man behind the popular martial arts comedy film Local Kung Fu. He has also acted in many big banner Bollywood films. He has also written a book Chocolate Guitar Momos which was published in 2011.
How did you come into filmmaking?
I’ve wanted to be a filmmaker since I did my first silly little school skit in class VI in Don Bosco, Tezpur. I thought I would learn direction from FTII Pune after graduation but I didn’t graduate and fled IIT Delhi – too much to study. I moved to Mumbai and started working as a writer and actor. I soon realized that the best thing to do would probably be to make my own film. Cameras and software have made many things more accessible, so we got down to actually doing it, instead of waiting for a golden chance.
Why did you think about making a film like Local Kung Fu?
For a filmmaker with no resources, the best thing to do is to look around and see what one has access to. I’ve trained in martial arts under my uncle and his students are my friends, so naturally it would be easy to get people to act and fight. Comedy and action go well together, so I wove a small story around those of my friends and family who are natural actors, and the locations we had access to.
Tell us a little about your Bollywood experience. Your favourite role till date
I have had small roles in Shanghai and Mary Kom. I have bigger roles in two upcoming films, but I wouldn’t like to talk about them until release. Mary Kom was a great experience because of shooting in Manali and Dharamsala and also because Omung and Vanita Kumar are truly wonderful, gracious people.
What can fans expect from Local Kung Fu sequel?
The LKF sequel has almost all the same people with a couple of exceptions. The tone is slightly different, though, as the story is a modern adaptation of Shakespeare’s play The Comedy of Errors. We’ve made it on a much bigger scale. Additions to the cast include Bibhuti Bhushan Hazarika, heroines Eepsita Hazarika and Sarmistha Chakravarty, and NSD alumni Suneet Bora, Mrigendra Konwar and Yashraj Jadhav.
You have written a book Chocolate Guitar Momos. Do you have any plans to make a movie on the book?
A production house has optioned my book for a few years. We’ll have to see if they do make a film out of it. I’m not allowed to reveal details.
How do you like to spend your free time?
Learning martial arts, occasional guitar playing, watching films and TV series and MMA fights
What is your ideal vacation destination?
Haven’t been to enough places yet. But I like hilly places with good food.
A person/book/movie that has inspired you
Too many to name. But earliest inspirations would be James Cameron and the Terminator films.
Describe yourself in three words
Confused, Shirker, Listener
What is your favourite food?
As told to Payel Bhattacharjee