A Taste of Victory

Weekly Newsletter
Issue #325

A Taste of Victory

Film Connection graduate, Rinoj Varghese, recently chatted with us about the difficult process he faced completing his debut film, Beyond Your Consciousness: The Beginning. Since we spoke, the film has gone on to sweep film festivals, win awards, and be lauded by the likes of the LA Times. We sat down with this determined filmmaker to discuss his hard won success.

Can you give us a short teaser for your film?

This story is about a person who’s convinced that their house is haunted with a spirit. A psychiatrist investigates to find out what’s going on. As the story goes on, it’s revealed that it’s not as it seems.

Last time we talked, we discussed the obstacles you overcame to make this film. For those who missed that interview, can you speak a bit about what you were up against?

I started writing this particular script in 2021 and I sent it to Blacklist. They gave me a great review about it. I thought, ‘Okay, I should be making this into a film.’ I approached a lot of people to invest in this movie, but it didn’t work out. In the end, I used my own money. Once I decided to make this movie, there were some money hurdles I had to overcome. There were a lot of problems. Building a crew, getting a cast, getting great locations, and putting everybody together in one movie. Those were the biggest tasks.

“I approached a lot of people to invest in this movie, but it didn’t work out. In the end, I used my own money.”

Can you talk to us about submitting to film festivals?

Of course, for a filmmaker to submit to a film festival, that’s a great opportunity. It’s kind of a tricky game deciding which film festival you should be submitting to. First of all, all the film festivals are not good for independent filmmakers. You can submit for bigger ones and greater ones in the world, but it’s not guaranteed you’ll get in. It’s frustrating because it’s not totally based on whether your movie is good or bad. There are very few good film festivals that are focused on independent filmmakers. You should think to yourself, ‘My film is good, but which film festival is best for me?’ It’s important to understand that many festivals are looking for studio movies and celebrities. It’s important to find a film festival that is looking for new filmmakers with great voice and potential. You should submit to those festivals.

You’ve been having some crazy success already! What film festivals have you already swept?


I got two selections, and at both film festivals, I got awards as well. So it clearly says that my product is good. The first one which I got was the Global Film Festival, LA. I won Best Feature Film, Best Actor, and an honorable mention for Best First Time Director. The second one was the Cannes World Film Festival. There I won Best Psychological Feature Film. I’m waiting for the notifications to come from others I’ve submitted to and anticipating attending premieres, as well.

How does it feel to be getting so much positive attention?

Whenever something positive is happening– a film festival, or a press, or an interview, or an article, anything– it’s all positive vibes. You put in all your hard work for like two, three years, and you’re getting positive things happening from that. You share all these things with your crew and cast, they are also getting recognition. We are all like, ‘Oh, we did the hard work, and we are getting something positive from that.’ That’s very important, because that gives the idea to everyone that what we did was worth it. It doesn’t matter who is getting what recognition, everything is for the entire crew and cast. It’s for the movie. It’s for everybody.

We talked a lot last time about your wife’s support and how much it helped you in this process. How has she reacted?

She’s really happy, and her name is Bincy. It’s been surreal and she’s a producer as well. When a first time filmmaker or first time screenwriter says, ‘I’m going to make a movie,’ it’s easy to doubt that they can pull it off. But she believed in me and she gave me support. That’s the thing, you know, it’s not easy to get great support from your family. Something unknown is in front of you all. You have no idea what the end result will be. But she gave me great support. That motivated me to move forward and make good things happen. Of course, once we get all these kinds of positive reactions, she’s very happy. It’s kind of a great success for the family. We’ve struggled. I put myself and my family in a very difficult situation. After finishing the movie and getting great results, it feels like it paid off.

“[S]he gave me great support. That motivated me to move forward and make good things happen.”

Where has your mentor been in this process?

Again, we got connected when I started the course in 2019, and to this day, he’s always with me. Whenever I have any doubts, I’ll text him, he will respond to me. ‘What should I do? What should I not be doing?’ The best thing about Richard is, even though my dreams are really big, he never discourages me. Even though he knew that there were so many problems, so many hurdles, I needed to overcome, he never discouraged me. He was never like, ‘You know, this is going to be very hard.’ He never said that. He said, ‘You go for it! Once you try, you will come to know. Once you try, you will come to know.’ If you want to learn driving, you have to sit in the driver’s seat.

Now that everything has come together, do you feel like you’ve smeared some egg on your doubters’ faces?

I don’t worry about what anybody thought. It was kind of shocking for me, of course, when people said, ‘It’s not going to work out, I’m not going to work with you.’ Of course, it was offensive. But everything happened. You don’t need to worry about others, because it’s your vision. You are going to make your film. You are inviting people to work with you. You have a vision. You have a story to tell. You aren’t asking for help, you’re asking for collaboration.

“You aren’t asking for help, you’re asking for collaboration.”

Do you think you’ll be treated differently from now on?

Once this movie is successful, it’s going to be released. It’s meant to get to the public. Once the movie is released to the public, I’ll have a more impressive resume. Of course, more people are going to want to collaborate.

Finally, last time we talked I asked you if you had any advice for someone wanting to make their own film. I wonder if that’s changed at all…

To become a filmmaker, what you need is patience. That’s the most important thing. You should have a great vision about what you’re going to make. You should be confident enough. You should be a leader. You should be ready to take all the blame. If something goes wrong, you can’t blame someone else. Are you ready to take everything on your shoulders? Because in creativity, that all comes on you, it is not going to anyone else’s shoulders. Are you ready to put yourself in a difficult, desperate situation? Are you ready to tackle problems every day? You have a mission, you need to have everything ready to go even though everything isn’t ready to go. You should expect everything to go wrong. Are you ready to solve that issue? You need to think like, ‘Okay, today I had a problem. Tomorrow I am going to be met with another problem that might be bigger than today’s problem. And are you ready to solve it? Are you ready to break your comfort zone? You need to be focused and be persistent. It’s easy to say that I’m ready to put myself in a difficult situation, but when you go through those things, it’s not easy. It’s not easy.

For a filmmaker or for an artist, you must imagine that you have fallen into the middle of the sea. The sea is very cold. You can see a lighthouse very far from it, but it’s miles away. So you’ve got only two choices. Either you can swim as much as you can, even though it’s very cold and you’re very far from the lighthouse. Or you can be afraid to swim because it’s very cold, and you can lose all your hope and drown and die. You need a lot of mental strength to go through all this. Whenever any problem comes, you will get disappointed, you will get shocked, that’s human nature. You must turn problems into opportunities. If you choose to fight, you can succeed.

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