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Shlok Shukla: Producing Films with Substance

Producer Shlok Shukla on set of “Flesh Fresh”

“Content is king.” You’ve probably heard this phrase; better yet, you experience its meaning every day. In a world of scrolling newsfeeds, unoriginal remakes, and generic concepts being pumped out for a mass audience, every day it seems a bit harder to come across meaningful ideas in film. When corporate shareholders and investors are only concerned with superficial metrics and viewership numbers, bold and original scripts are often overlooked.

For producer Shlok Shukla, however, there’s much more to a film than its profit-generating potential. Shukla, a graduate of the New York Film Academy’s screenwriting program, isn’t just a producer; in fact, two of his feature-length screenplays have won multiple awards, including “Best Script” and “Best Dialogue,” at film festivals worldwide such as the Cult Valley Global Cinefest, American Filmatic Arts Awards, and Rome Prisma Film Awards.

So when Shukla is on the lookout for a new project to take on, he’s interested far more in the emotional and intellectual content of the scripts that come across his desk. “Personally,” Shukla began, “Any script with a message of change or growth, regardless of genre, is one that I’ll likely be interested in.” He continued, “Of course, I have to consider the project’s commercial viability as well as its message—but a promising script will strike a balance between the two.”

Shukla’s track record speaks for itself. One of his recent films, a music video titled “Young Soul,” was an incredibly special project that was created, in secret, as a gift for Ale Solar, lead singer of the Chilean rock band Temple Agents. “Young Soul” is a celebration of the life of Solar’s recently deceased father, lovingly crafted by Shukla and Solar’s closest friends.

This project initially came to Shlok’s attention via his partner at I’m Not Famous Films, Julian Santiesteban, who had worked with Temple Agents in the past. This existing chemistry made the process much easier, and much more meaningful for Shukla, who was very excited to work with Temple Agents on this film. “Having lost people close to us, especially in the pandemic, Julian and I felt attached to this from the get go,” Shukla said. “The ‘Young Soul’ video just felt like such a personal gift, and we were honored to produce it alongside Ale’s bandmates.”

(Left to Right) Producer Shlok Shukla, and production assistant Natasha Lewis on set of “Young Soul.” Photo by Elizabeth Collins

Shlok handled everything from writing an initial script for the project to budgeting and scouting locations for the shoot; even post-production duties and the eventual release and distribution of the music video on the band’s YouTube channel.

Santiesteban had nothing but praise for Shlok’s efforts after production had wrapped: “Shlok is a very professional person, with outstanding soft skills, which helps production teams to feel easy and comfortable while at work. This empathetic approach to work, plus his creative skills, make Shlok a valuable asset on set and during other stages of production.”

More recently, Shlok has been involved in the production of a feature-length film, titled “Love is a Game,” that delves into the nuances of a queer relationship on the rocks. The story follows Ellie and Mia as they return from a dinner that didn’t go quite as planned.

Based on his previous work, Shukla was approached by the film’s director, Lu Mendoza, to produce “Love is a Game.” After reading the script, Shukla was moved by the relationship between the characters, and was eager to get involved. “This film presents a very honest, ordinary, and relatable portrayal of an LGBTQ+ couple at their most vulnerable state,” Shukla remarked. “Ellie’s and Mia’s relationship is full of love and intimacy, while at the same time, in its final moments, it is also rife with despair and heartbreak—a scenario that we can all relate to.”

Mendoza has been thrilled to have Shukla on board for her film’s production. “Shlok is a great listener and problem solver,” Lu Mendoza said of Shukla. “He goes the extra mile, regardless of how small or big the project is, and he takes care of the project as if it was his own.”

At the time of writing, Shukla and the crew have wrapped pre-production, and filming will begin shortly. “Love is a Game” is slated for release in late June, 2022.

With an eye for moving stories with impactful messages, Shlok Shukla is committed to bringing fresh, meaningful films to life. His is a welcome mission in today’s entertainment market. Combining his business acumen as a producer and his passion for storytelling, Shukla is poised to leave an incredible legacy in Hollywood. He is also the producer behind the films “ALonely,” “Let’s Ride” and “Flesh Fresh.”

(Left to Right) Producer Shlok Shukla, cinematographer Joshua Fraser and actors Benjamin Williams and Kevin Amaya on set of “ALonely.” Photo by Gino Villanueva