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Debut’s International Network: Live from Mumbai

Our Debut International Network sees creatives worldwide introduce us to the creative industries in their hometowns and share their career journey with us.

This month we speak to 24-year-old Sayasha Pillai from Mumbai. Sayasha makes her debut by introducing us to aspects of the film industry in India.

Around 4700-and-something miles away from UK is Mumbai, which is to India what New York is to the world. Often more a sentiment than merely just a city, it has something for everyone! A land so rich in history and immersed in culture, inspiration finds you at every nook and corner, especially when you aren’t looking for it – best, when you least expect it. At the age of 24, Mumbai is what I call home. Born into a family that’s always encouraged the arts, I’ve grown to love it – in all its forms.

It gives me an opportunity to express what is otherwise inexpressible. I feel I lay a piece of me, in everything I create. Every stroke, every word, I physically feel myself investing a part of who I am – in it. It’s like a shield, making it easier for me to breathe. I realized earlier on, as I entangle myself in my creation allowing myself to undo the tangles of existence, I find peace.

It all started when I was around nine, where I wrote poetry and pieces of prose, in secrecy. It was only two years ago, that I opened up about it. Up until then writing for me was deeply personal, a catharsis. Now, over a decade later, it’s surreal to be called a writer. And there’s no better feeling in the world than having someone tell me, that they relate to a piece I etched where I was unabashedly raw. For the past two years, I’ve been a part of the Creative Team at Roy Kapur Films (RKF), a Film and Digital Production House founded by the eminent Indian Producer – Siddharth Roy Kapur, President of the Producer’s Guild of India and the former Managing Director of the Walt Disney Company India and UTV – Studios.

My every day entails reviewing screenplays, pitching ideas, etching out stories amidst sitting in for narrations, internal meetings – the works. I’m amazed at how the process of executing that which is on the paper and finally of course, how the end-product is packaged and presented to the world only keeps getting more interesting to me as the days roll by. While it’s technically just a job and I’ve got to clock in x-number of hours to get done with the tasks at hand, it doesn’t feel like one – it’s so much more to me than just a 9-to-5.

Hailing from a country that’s been largely patriarchal for the most part, it’s encouraging to see the facets of the game, slowly but surely, change. With women beginning to claim what’s rightfully ours, from across the board – on camera and off, it’s a bright and exciting time for young, passionate and ambitious women to be a part of the glorious creative industries, even on this side of the world. And with Debut Magazine that’s precisely what I intend to bring to the fore and highlight and thereby hopefully, in my own little way, inspire more women to follow their dreams and stop at nothing (but traffic lights)!

Words by Sayasha Pillai – Mumbai.



Sayasha Pillai

Sayasha Pillai View All

Mumbai-based creative developer - writer -podcaster, Sayasha Pillai is one of the writers at Debut.

For over 3 years now, she has been actively engaged in ideating, creating, and reviewing stories for feature films as well as digital series.
She got published in early 2020, with the UNREAD Anthology that brings together 99 hand-picked poets and writers across India. You can find her previous work on, Elephant Journal, among others.

Her passion for creativity and art in all its forms led her to, launch her podcast show, Podlist with Sayasha in association with one of India's leading podcast distributing platforms.

It's the first-ever podcast about podcasts, that brings together the best in the business. The Podlist shifts the spotlight onto the creators and the conversations delve into their creative process, journey, and everything in between. Available on most of the leading podcast listening apps.

Connect with Sayasha:

Instagram - @sayashapillai
Twitter - @SayashaPillai
LinkedIn - Sayasha Pillai
Facebook - @pillaisayasha

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