1. Tell us about yourself.
My name is Piratheep Kanagasabai and I am 26 year old independent filmmaker. I was born in Scarborough but at the age of 13, my family and I moved to Markham.
I started studying and learning film in 2013. In April 0f 2017, I made the move, along with my cousin Kandeepan Vadivel, to start my own independent production company called Wild Rabbit Entertainment. I produce, direct, shoot and edit music videos, short films, and creative videos under this production company.
2. What made you pursue film-making?
As a South Asian, I grew up watching a lot of Tamil films in the 90’s. My father would show me old films he used to watch growing up. I was always fascinated by how the camera movements and the background score can draw you into a scene. As a kid, I didn’t think filmmaking would be a career that I could be pursuing but I loved the idea of filmmaking and bringing life to the big screen.
Near the end of high school, there was a time where I struggled to figure out what career path I wanted to pursue. I got accepted into York University for the Cinema and Media Arts program and I also got accepted into the IT Management program in Ryerson University. I didn't know what school to go for or what my parents would be happy with. My family and friends weren’t that supportive with my filmmaking passion at the time. I decided to set my passion aside for the first few years of university and took the IT route. I thought that it would be the most realistic path to take at the time and it maybe allow me to become passionate about something outside of film/filmmaking. Also, I felt that it was more culturally accepted since my peers were predominantly focused on traditional career paths like engineering and medicine. I worried about pursuing something outside of that and being viewed as inferior in comparison.
After dropping out of university and experimenting with different career paths, I never really felt like I was working toward something I loved and that was always frustrating. Whenever I was online (as I would be on a regular basis looking for programs to enroll in), I became curious about film schools and what programs they were offering. I looked into the Toronto Film School and the Film Production Program. The moment I was convinced that this was something I was going to pursue, I told my parents. They were initially worried but also supported me as they knew I was always passionate about film. I took the chance, graduated film school in 2015 and here we are now.
3. Was there a film that inspired/influenced you to become a filmmaker?
Blue Valentine. If you haven’t seen that movie, it’s a must watch! Still to this day, I would say that is by far one of my top 10 favourite films. I was amazed of the characterization and the deep message behind this film. It was this film that made me realize that quality cinema doesn’t necessarily have to be big budget. Blue Valentine works because of depth of characterization, chemistry between all actors and the raw message the film addresses about the depiction of a marriage that’s lost its love. It made me realize what kind of films and the types of stories I wanted to share with my audiences.
4. How did you come up with the idea for "More Than You Know"?
When I wrote the script for "More Than You Know", my main focus was to base the story around people who feel like they don’t fit in to the norms of society. I wanted to take everyday situations that people had to commonly deal with emotionally/mentally and project that into this film. I also wanted to show the audience a raw perspective on the main character, Simon, who was antisocial to the core.
5. List 10 or more keyword to describe the film.
6. Are there any upcoming projects you can tell us about?
Under Wild Rabbit Entertainment, we have a few creative concept projects and music videos coming out this summer. Keep an eye out for that! There is a film project in development but it's too early to discuss details. However, I will be officially announcing the project later this year.
7. If you got the opportunity to remake a classic film, what would it be?
I wouldn’t remake a classic. It’s a classic for a reason. Why ruin it? I would much rather learn from them and create my own.
8. Do you have any advice for young filmmakers like yourself?
I just want to let all upcoming aspiring filmmakers like myself know to believe in yourself and your work. A lot of people start off motivated in this industry but eventually that motivation dies down and some people unfortunately give up. Motivation is the first ingredient, but it must be supplemented with the drive and certitude towards your goal and vision, beyond adversity is what keeps you going. Just keep pushing to be better, trust the process and believe it into existence.