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Big screen beckons for Vijay

Big screen beckons for Vijay

25 July 2023 

A former Bollywood producer is making a move into directing feature films aimed at a global audience, thanks to his Screen and Media studies at TAFE NSW. 

With a first draft screenplay prepared and plans for another already in the works, Vijay Gumber is launching his career into a sector that was shown in the 2021 Census to have grown by 45 per cent over just five years.  

It follows a career highlight in May this year, when he jointly-led the production of Australia Welcomes Modi for the Australia India Diaspora Foundation), which broadcast a visit to Sydney by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to millions of people around the world.  

The Western Sydney resident worked as an executive producer in India’s Bollywood prior to moving with his family to Australia 13 years ago and operating retail businesses.   

But with a yearning to rebuild his film and media career, he studied a Certificate IV in Screen and Media with TAFE Digital to gain the skills he needed – and has worked in the sector since.

“Although I had plenty of practical experience from my work on film sets in India, I realised I needed to learn film making from the basics if I wanted to pursue my career as a director,” he said.

“My journey as a film director in a real sense started during my studies and TAFE NSW has made a great difference.”

Mr Gumber describes his proposed feature films as “romantic dramas in the style and touch of the blockbuster Titanic”, and after spending 13 days scouting locations in India, has plans to shoot and produce the films both in India and Australia.

His teacher at TAFE NSW, Lisa McIntosh, is excited by the possibility of her former student directing international movies.

“Vijay’s filmmaking skills are exceptional and I was always impressed by his dedication to his creative journey,” she said.

“I’m so pleased that his studies with TAFE Digital have set him back on the path in the craft he loves and I can’t wait to see what he creates next.”Mr Gumber’s previous credits include music videos made in India as well as multiple advertisements and corporate videos filmed and produced in Australia.

He has thanked his TAFE NSW teachers for giving him the skills and confidence needed to tackle major film projects – and says his life-long learning journey continues. 

“In filmmaking, you must constantly be in touch with change, so a film director is always looking for opportunities to improve and will always remain a student,” he said.