Jaswant Dev Shrestha is a Hollywood based film maker, actor and producer. Shrestha is originally from Nepal and is the First Nepali artist to be a member of the United States Screen Actors a Guild. After working on many projects in Nepal, Shrestha moved to the U.S in 2008. Since he has been in the US, he has worked on various projects including his award winning short film “The Treason” and his voice over work in Disney’s “Planes”.
Interview by Gloria Star
Welcome back to OpenBeast. Tell us about what you’ve been up to lately.
2014 has been a blessed year so far for me. I have been working on various projects. A Bollywood Feature, couple commercials and attending Film festivals.
Yes I see you’ve recently won an award for your short film The Treason. Tell us more about your experience with that project.
The experience was great! Especially because it was the story I had written. It was also my first film totally shot locally in Los Angeles. It was a lot of fun since I started writing to final release. It took us eight months to finish it. The casting process was very hard ’cause we got thousands of submission and tons of people were so talented. I mean its Hollywood right. The pool of talent out here is incredible.
Now after all those hard work the film is getting some recognition. We have won three awards so far; two best audience awards and a best actor in a leading role for me. At New York international film festival we won Audience award, Blissfest333 in Denver Colorado we won Audience and best actor award.
What was it like seeing a film you created win those awards as well as winning the best actor in a leading role award?
I honestly can’t describe how great it feels in any words. It is just so satisfying. When I start writing a story, I do it for my satisfaction. And trusting that people will relate and like it. There is a chance of people not liking it but I do it anyway (smiles). I believe any art form which comes from the heart, people will like it.
Best actor role is definitely a childhood dream come true. No words or language to explain. Tears just roll down my eyes every time I recall that moment my name was announced.
You mentioned earlier that The Treason was your first film shot completely in Los Angeles; how did that experience differ from previous projects you’ve worked on?
To shoot in Los Angeles there is definitely a lot of paper work and coordination to be done for permits. I wish it was easier and cheaper to film here. With other project when we go out of state there are so many facility and support for film makers. Just 200 miles away in Tulare County where we shot our Bollywood movie few months ago was sure a joy. Any difficult location was easy provided by the film commission. Lot of places the fees are waived. Can’t get better than that (laughs).
Tell us some more about the other projects you have been working on.
I have been working a Bollywood feature called Mera Wattan right now.
I was cast in a Facebook commercial recently https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=10152825900051729&set=p.10152825900051729&type=2&theater
My other film The Breakdown on Highway 7 got released by Amazon.
Have been getting audition for prime time shows! Which I am really happy about.
I am actively developing 2 features with Creative Heights Entertainment and Three river films works. “Divergence” and “The Blood Stone”. After these project are over hopefully by 2015, I would love to write and star in my NEPALI language film.
What would you say is your favorite project you have worked on so far?
The Treason for sure! ‘Cause it gave me the Best Actor award! Doing voice over work for the Disney’s Planes was fun and I love my FACEBOOK commercial.
Thank you for your time Jaswant Shrestha, it was a delight to interview you.
To follow Jaswant Shrestha, visit www.jaswantdevshrestha.com