Walkers & Co enables emerging Indian filmmakers with The Walkers Project

Walkers & Co enables emerging Indian filmmakers with The Walkers Project

Walkers Project with Film Companion mentors two young Indian filmmakers for "Keep Walking" films.

Walkers & Co

Mumbai: Walkers & Co, in collaboration with Film Companion, announces the launch of The Walkers Project, a purpose-driven initiative aimed at enabling two promising Indian filmmakers with bold and unique voices. By spotlighting talent that embodies the spirit of progress and inclusion, this program is committed to fostering a culture of meaningful storytelling and creative excellence.

“Our goal with The Walkers Project is to empower emerging filmmakers to tell stories that inspire people to keep walking and push boundaries for a more inclusive and progressive society, while enabling diverse voices from India," said Diageo India CMO Ruchira Jaitly. "We believe in the power of cinema to drive conversations, challenge norms, and shape the future, and this program is one step in our commitment to supporting the next generation of exceptional storytellers."

The Walkers Project involved a rigorous selection process involving film critics, curators, and industry experts, led by renowned figures Anupama Chopra and Deepti DCunha. This led to Ambiecka Pandit and Akshay Parvatkar emerging as the Walkers, chosen for their distinct voices, conviction, and potential to create impactful cinema. The selection process was followed by intense mentoring sessions and workshops, preparing the filmmakers for the Cannes Film Festival 2024, where the biggest business of films happens in the world. The mentoring sessions were led by Oscar-winning producer Guneet Monga, along with Anu Rangachari, Jerome Paillard and Christian Jeune from the Cannes Film Festival. The aim of the program is to provide invaluable and once-in-a-lifetime exposure and networking opportunities to the young filmmakers. Upon returning from the film festival, the young filmmakers will also be making a fictional film each on the theme of “Keep Walking”.

"I am thrilled to be part of The Walkers Project and work closely with Ambiecka and Akshay," said Guneet Monga, Oscar-winning producer and mentor. "This program is about more than just attending Cannes or creating short films; it's about empowering filmmakers to amplify their voices, advocate for change, and shape the future of cinema."

Renowned film critic and Film Companion founder Anupama Chopra said, “One of my big joys is enabling new filmmakers. With this partnership between Film Companion and Walkers & Co., I hope we can empower the two selected filmmakers to tell stories that matter. I am really excited to see the films Ambiecka and Akshay make under this programme and how they use their learnings from the Cannes Film Festival to ‘Keep Walking’ and to bring to life films that inspire progress.”

Ambiecka Pandit, an independent writer-director, brings a fresh perspective and relentless optimism to her craft, aiming to parcel emotional, intellectual, and spiritual impulses of communities through her storytelling. Akshay Parvatkar, a scriptwriter/director, challenges societal norms and preconceived assumptions with his empathetic narratives, pushing boundaries and fostering meaningful dialogue.

Speaking on program, Akshay Parvatkar said, “The Walkers Project promises to give me the chance to bring my stories to life on a bigger stage. I’ve always hoped to tell stories that I feel need to be heard, and through this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, I wish to collaborate with visionaries who have the power to reach a larger audience. I’m grateful for the mentors’ belief in my vision and for the opportunity to Keep Walking towards my dreams and try to inspire change one step at a time.”

Ambiecka Pandit, while talking about the program, mentioned: “The Walkers Project is an incredible opportunity to partake in a cause much larger than oneself. To be able to participate and contribute with my film to an initiative I feel strongly about is prize enough, but the project also gifts us the opportunity to Keep Walking and experience the largest film festival in the world. Cannes is the Mecca of film festivals, and being able to witness it firsthand will definitely be a defining experience for a young filmmaker like me. It will help see the best of art and commerce come together and understand deeper how the ecosystem of world cinema works. An ecosystem I wish to belong to.”

The Walkers Project embodies the collective efforts of Walkers & Co, Film Companion, industry experts, and the selected filmmakers to champion talent, drive progress, and bring meaningful stories to audiences worldwide. In its truest sense, it is the coming together of collaboration and co-creation for enabling the community.