The North Fork TV Festival Awards Aasif Mandvi with the Inspiration Award last Sunday for his role in the Film and Television Industry.
Aasif Mandvi is known for his role as correspondent on “The Daily Show” and actor on “A Series of Unfortunate Events.”
The Inspiration Award honors the person who most inspires us to create an ever-brighter future for our global community.
The Knockturnal: Congratulations on winning the awar. It’s an award about inspiring people. What specifically does this award mean for you?
Aasif Mandvi: It’s a real honor when people give you an award because you’ve inspired other people. It’s just a wonderful thing for people to say about the award. You don’t set off in this business being like ‘Well I’m gonna inspire people.’ You’re just trying to do your work and often in this business it’s about survival anyways. It’s just a really wonderful thing to be awarded for and very humbling to be held an inspiration. And in a weird way a lot to look up to too, because now I have to continue being an inspiration.
The Knockturnal: Who would you say were your biggest inspirations growing up, or anyone really continuing to inspire you?
Aasif Mandvi: I think that there were so many actors growing up but when I was growing up there were no real actors of color that I could look to. So I could say that is my inspiration, somebody that I wanna be like. It was kind of a weird thing, I wanted to be an actor and my parents were kind of like ‘there are no brown actors.’ And there weren’t at that time in Hollywood, in theater, in TV, or in movies because I grew up in India, and the UK. So I would say I found inspiration wherever I could, in works of art, in literature or theater, and movies, always looking for the reflection back of someone who looked like me, and I never really found that.
The Knockturnal: You’ve worked on bigger budget projects as well as independent projects. Why do you think independent projects are so attractive to aspiring filmmakers?
Aasif Mandvi: Because you don’t have a lot of suits and ties involved. I think the bigger budget, and the more people you have involved, the more opinions there are. It starts to become where everything gets created by a committee. Creativity is often something very individual and unique to a person so the creators voice sometimes can get lost when you have a committee of people dictating how some things should get created. So indie projects are great because it really is just a writer, director medium where they can tell the story they want to create.
The Knockturnal: For the younger people, who want to get involved by maybe don’t know how, do you have any tips to inspire them in film and tv?
Aasif Mandvi: I would say just get enough experience as you can. Study, go to school. A lot of people sometimes in this business think ‘Oh! I’ll just go to Hollywood and I’ll just be discovered.’ Yes, there are those stories, but I always tell people that you should learn the craft and really start at the bottom and sort of work your way up. If you want to become a writer, become a writer’s assistant in a writer’s room. That’s how the craft gets instilled into you. But don’t give up, just keep going.