A design thinking approach to film making

'For Here or to Go?', a film about Indian immigrants in America, has received much acclaim. Writer-producer Rishi Bhilawadikar and director Rucha Humnabadkar talk about how an independent film maker is very much like a first time entrepreneur

Nilofer D'Souza

[Photograph sourced from ForHereortoGoMovie.com]

Part 1: The challenges of entrepreneurship as an immigrant

The film’s writer Rishi Bhilawadikar is a user experience design professional who has been in the US for the past 10 years; director Rucha Humnabadkar is known for her work with acclaimed filmmaker Nagesh Kukunoor.  

They talk about how they drew on their own experiences and interviewed immigrant families in the San Francisco Bay Area to capture the story of trying to make a home away from home and the challenges of entrepreneurship as an immigrant.

Part 2: Mixing principles of film making and business

Both apply human-centred design thinking in their day to day jobs. In this section, they talk about how they applied some of those principles—lean startup, design thinking, usability testing—in creating the film. As Rucha says, “The challenges of an independent film maker are very similar to those of a first time entrepreneur.”

Part 3: Adapting to surprises on the go

Here they talk about the chaos of film making and elaborate on the design thinking principles they applied to raise funds and produce the film.

They spoke with 40-50 families across the Bay Area and documented all the interviews to determine, is this a story that people care about?

To raise funds and build the film’s profile, they used a concept video, anonymous feedback, a progress video, and an audience response video.


Virtuoso features conversations with a cross-section of veteran entrepreneurs, business strategists and thought leaders from India and abroad

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About the author

Nilofer D'Souza
Nilofer D'Souza


Whenever people ask me "what do you do for a living?" I always quip back saying, "what do I not do?" In my career as a journalist and now at internal communications, I've had the privilege of seeing both sides of the coin: an external and internal environment. I have also moved across various platforms like radio, print, television, the Internet and social media in both environments.

It's been an interesting journey as it has deepened my understanding of what works and how you can leverage the learnings in both to maximize your reach as a storyteller. Ultimately, as a communications professional, there’s no greater high than having your communication effort reach the right audience.

My favourite platform has always been radio, and it is here at Founding Fuel that I will anchor their podcast offering. I will work with the influential contributor network to build out distinctive world-class audio shows. I will also anchor my own show based from my perch in Bangalore.

I have an M.A. degree in audio-visual communication from COMMITS, a mass communication institute in Bangalore and a B.A. degree from Mount Carmel College in Psychology, English and Communicative English.

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