First a director of short films in the small state of Goa and emerging as the creator of an Oscar qualifying film, Pervis Milroy Goes is a painter, filmmaker, writer and lover of all things the arts; an inspiration for many! Following the announcement of the book behind the legendary film Welcome Millions, we reached out to him to get to know him better and explore an emerging filmmaker’s perspective on the biggest image of Indian cinema.
We all know filmmaker Milroy Goes, but few know what made you who you are today. What were the behind the scenes of this brilliant film that is you?
I have always been an artist. I started out as a painter, designer. But entering digital art opened up the dimension of filmmaking to me. What I liked the most was watching film making; that’s what made me try to make films myself and that’s how it all started.
You’ve been in the art your whole life, but suddenly you decided to embark on this truly unique Café Bom Gosto venture! What was your vision behind this?
In small towns like Cuncolim, people generally prefer to travel to neighboring towns when it comes to arranging meetings. Bom Gosto was a small effort by my brother and I to provide the Cuncolimites with a possibility to bring together their artistic and intellectual potential and discuss everything in one place.
Having focused on Goa throughout your career, what do you think is Goa’s greatest strength that can bring its cinematography to a global pedestal?
Even though I have worked in and since Goa, I have always had a more global vision in mind. When I make films, I make them for moviegoers all over the world and not just for a limited region. I believe that is the greatest strength, not just Goans but anyone, can have in terms of artistic creation.
What changes do you think the Indian film industry will see in the next few years? What changes would you like to see?
I strongly believe in the potential of OTT platforms. Because in a state like Goa, where theatrical releases are only inside the state, OTTs are a filmmaker’s window to global audiences. The increasing attention to OTT platforms will surely lead to amazing changes in the industry.
What do you think of the regulation on OTT platforms? Do you think this is important or that it will hamper a lot of creativity?
I will only say that while some regulations are restrictive and can hamper creativity, they are after all a necessary evil.
When someone says “Indian film industry”, the image that immediately passes before your eyes is that of Bollywood, when in reality it is much more than that! What do you think is the reason and what can be done to put regional industries at the forefront?
This is a question that I really appreciate because, absolutely! People often skip Indian movies because they think it would come with the typical dance and drama. Bollywood is, at best, a genre. But it steals the overall identity only because it’s commercial enough and the name sells. Again, a shift in focus and a more holistic perspective is the only answer to this conundrum.
Speaking of Bollywood, it’s widely observed that supposed superstars of the genre have this tendency to get into trouble all the time, possibly due to a sense of power that doesn’t just come from wealth. Do you think that the growing influence of alternative platforms is going to put an end to this false sense of power or will it go the other way and will it also drag these developing platforms into the dark? ?
Alternative platforms, in an effort to create their own brand, create big images out of small characters and that definitely affects these superstars. Even the big actors are now interested in series; again, OTT platforms have a role to play as they don’t care about a player’s business value but about their overall capabilities. And I think that will change the cult of Bollywood and eventually eliminate all the nuisances that exist.
As you mentioned, it’s not easy for a commoner to get into the circle, let alone get to the top. How do you see this situation as a filmmaker?
The real challenge for a novice is to create commercial value because a director would definitely want his film to sell. In such a case, it is crucial for an actor to be in contact with the right person who can ensure their break.
Is it difficult to find such capable faces among the freshers?
It does, but not in states like Goa. Because unlike Mumbai, people here have more talent and fewer opportunities. And it makes it easier to find the right person.
Nowadays, we see a lot of artistic potential in young children being crushed for various reasons. Having been a social activist yourself, what do you think you can do to prevent these young talents from losing their wings before they have even taken off?
In the digital age, it is very difficult to get young people to focus on their talent in the first place. A lot of it comes down to the individual’s peer circle. When you have friends who share the same interests as you, you learn a lot from them.
One more thing that interests me personally is your announcement regarding the Welcome Millions book. Was it because of the pandemic or were you always interested?
What I originally wanted was to tell the real story behind the making of the film to the world. But the pandemic has certainly given me the opportunity to do so and the fact that my brother is an author has only inspired me more. This is how I became interested in the book side. It is also the pandemic that I must thank for launching an idea like Bom Gosto!
Do you have any closing words to share with our readers?
I would like to say that if you think you have a certain talent, discuss it with people who are relevant in this area. They are the ones who will have the answers to all your confusion. Don’t let your talent go to waste! And most importantly, believe in your dream. Because when you do, “the whole universe conspires to help you make it happen.”
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