Rajkumari Sharma Tankha
Growing up in a small village Nangal Shah Bazpur in Haryana, Akshay Malik was attracted to filmmaking ever since he was a child. There was no TV at home, so he would often visit his neighbours’ home to watch a movie. He missed no movie that was being telecast on TV, and watching films made the child wonder as to how these were produced. From there on began an attraction towards the cinema which propelled him further and further on the path, and turning him into a filmmaker by the time he entered college.
“I completed my school education in the village and then joined Dronacharya Government College in Gurugram for my graduation. Soon, I got inclined towards literature following which I left my studies and moved to Mumbai. That was in 2015,” he says, adding that the ‘phone and internet’ connected him to the world cinema. He began watching more and more movies. The ones by legends like Woody Allen and Godard inspired him no end, and were perhaps the reason behind his quitting college.
Filmmaker Akshay Malik (in blue shirt at centre) with his team
Quitting studies midway was sure a radical step. But Akshay has no regrets about not completing his degree course. And the fact that his brothers and mom supported him made things easier. “I had shared the desire to become a filmmaker with my two brothers, Ved and Bala – they are more friends than brothers to me. They always showed confidence in me and supported me. My mother was also like them, always happy in whatever I wished to do,” he says, adding that though his father didn’t initially react much to his decision to enter filmmaking, over time he too started supporting him.
His first web series, Pinki Bhabhi Ke Kirayedar, was released on the Haryanvi Stage in October 2021. Before that he assisted writer-director Kamlesh Kunti in writing. “I also made a few short films,” he says.
“But the making of Pinki Bhabhi Ke Kirayedar was a completely different feeling. In fact, I have also written a book on the making of this web series. I was a bit scared as it was the first web series but the show’s creator Sanju Saini showed immense confidence in me and my skills. Despite it being made on a low budget, it is one of the topmost web series of its genre,” he says, adding that these days he is busy with the post-production of web series Akhada, slated to be released next month (June) on Haryanvi Stage.
Some stills from the shooting of ‘Akhada’
Presently, Akshay is writing a web series for MX player, he would rather not divulge details of. “I was about to direct C Classic web series written by Sanju Saini when this MX Player offer came. I will be back on the C Classic once I complete this,” he says.
“With so many OTT platforms coming in, lots of people have started getting work. There are more opportunities where artistes can prove themselves,” he opines.
“Mumbai is one city which you cannot part ways with once you arrive here. I went back home to Haryana during the pandemic but was back here as soon as things normalised a bit,” he says.
Other than films, he is ‘mad’ about cricket. “You will always find on a ground when not making films,” he signs off.