Makarand Sawant‘s tryst with theatre started while studying in D. G. Ruparel College, Mumbai. As a lead actor of the famous one-act plays वेगे वेगे धावू and इथे नाव ठेवायला जागाच नाही, he had won multiple awards for his college in 2009-10. His talent was soon recognized and he worked in experimental plays for well-known production houses like Mithak, Shubhashree, Avishkar and Sai-Kiran Productions during his college days.
I consider myself lucky to have received guidance from theatre luminaries like Satyadev Dubey, Chetan Datar, Iravati Karnik, Advait Dadarkar, Sandesh Kulkarni and Prakash Buddhisagar during my college days.
After college, he went on showcasing his acting skills through many award-winning commercial and experimental plays. Meanwhile, Vivek Gore was directing a movie जमीन and his assistant directors, Swapnil Murkar and Ranjit Patil, who were also college seniors of Makarand, invited him to be a part of the direction team and his journey started in the world of films. During this stint, Makarand rubbed shoulders with colleagues who had formal education in theatre and films and learnt the technicalities involved in the art of film making from them.
My financial position wasn’t good enough to take a formal course in the art of film making so I decided to learn it practically on the job.
His father Bhaskar Sawant and uncle Shridhar Sawant were great actors and writers but he did not want to use their references in building connections in the world of films. Determined to become a self-made artist, Makarand decided to test the experience gained from his movie making stint by making a short film on one of his father’s poems. Although his first short film was not technically sound, he was appreciated for the concept. At that time, there weren’t many short films being made and youtube channels were still evolving, so it did not take much time for the industry to recognize his talent. He continued to work as assistant director and actor in various marathi and hindi films and also made shortfilms in between. His determined efforts soon started reaping results and his third short film Mimosa won the best social short film award at My Mumbai Shortfilm Festival. In 2012, Makarand made a short film @Kabutarkhana about life in Mumbai which was widely appreciated and was selected for MAMI film fest, MUSE international film fest and was screened in various foreign colleges as well.
Buoyed by the success, Makarand, who used to single-handedly manage all the departments of short film making like writing, direction, camera, costume and art direction; began forming a team now with the help of his friends. This led to the birth of Seetai Creations in 2013. Corporate films of companies, documentaries and advertisements were getting launched from Makarand’s vision now. Along with commercial Marathi Cinema, he also started working in Hindi films, Radio and Television as actor, writer, director, voice artist, post producer and post supervisor. He also worked briefly as a casting director. During this time, he also made a brief stint in famous marathi serial माझे मन तुझे झाले. He has worked on promotional videos and events for many movies like Chhota Bheem, Kick, Khiladi 786 and for post-production of television shows like Big Boss, Kaun Banega Karodpati, Kaun Hoil Marathi Karodpati and Chhote Miyan. He has also acted in hindi movies like A say Adult and Episode 13.
Makarand has started his own facebook page Nirlajjam Sadasukhi through which he shares his satirical videos on anything and everything with the aim to bring some cheer in the stressful and busy lives of his audience.
Towards end of 2014, Makarand made two short films Paisa Vasool and Arpan. Both the films won many awards in short film festivals and brought international recognition to him and his team in 2015. A special on-demand screening of the film Paisa Vasool, based on the short story by Russian author Anton Chekov, was also organised for the Russian Consulate in India. Along with his own short films, he continues to work in some of the best short film projects of his colleagues and friends. Towards end of 2016, he acted in short films Khat aaya hai and Drishtikon that won many awards at various festivals and drew lot of viewership on social media. 2017 has started with a bang for him as his short film Antyesthi has won many awards in a short timespan and has charmed audience. His newest release Life Line made for a Mumbai Metro contest also generated rave reviews and made it to the top 20 finalists. He likes to venture into new territories and has recently finished directing his first music video Tere Liye and dreams of making a feature film sometime in future.
(with inputs from Vaishnavi Bhalekar)