From making music videos and short films, Milroy went on to direct short and feature-length films. His forays into various types of films taught him what and how best to put something on film. When a Goan lad’s film lands at the Oscars’ jury table, it is definitely something to be proud of. We shall let you experience some of that pride too, in the following paragraphs.
Milroy started his foray into cinema with short films. His first step found solid ground when his short film got selected by Sony Pix Short Film Festival and later on it received a bigger platform at the International Film Festival of India. At IFFI he got in touch with some renowned directors and that kick-started his actual journey.
Milroy said, “I was delighted to be mentored by a French director Anthony Gomes. He helped me get a short film, instructing me to create it with a twist of Bollywood.” Accordingly, Milroy formed its story, cast and substance with a hint of Bollywood. “This turned out to be one of the iconic experiences of my life,” he said.
Milroy was well known in his college for his drawings and paintings. Despite not studying in the arts stream, the artist in him bobbed up. “The seed to anything is creativity. If you have art then that is a seed,” he quoted. How did Milroy move on from painting to directing? Did he undergo professional training to learn direction? No. did he learn through Youtube tutorials? No. His learning has been different – by watching a lot of movies on DVDs!
“So most of the DVDs would also contain snippets of how the film was made. I would watch those and learn” Said Milroy. He continued, “I agree it was a hard way to learn. At times I would want to go and join a film institute, but the people who had seen my short films felt I need not go join any institution as I was already able to create wonders with my innate creativity. So I brushed it up on my own again. I did not have any godfathers in the industry to help me, only good friends and connections from the Bollywood industry.”
Milroy’s first feature film ‘The Victim’ received a good response, and that led him to shoot ad films and a couple of music videos for Shashaa Tirupati, the award-winning playback singer from Bollywood. Subsequently, his movie ‘Welcome Millions’ went on to be nominated for the prestigious Oscar Awards. Talking about the film he said, “I wanted to do a multi-linguistic film and go big. So we got a British company to fund and produce this film. It is a big deal for an Indian film to get nominated for Oscars. So for our foreign language film to get selected through the Academy for the Oscars under the general category gave us a very proud feeling indeed.”
“Welcome Millions is inspired by two real-life incidents,” began Milroy. The film starts in Goa, travels through Punjab and the United Kingdom till Los Angeles. It is a suspense thriller film directed by Milroy Goes himself and produced by Manna Mohie under the banner of Manna Mohie films and Milroy Goes films.
The film has Goan and Punjabi actors. It also features Hollywood actor Kathryn Michelle in the Los Angeles sequence. Other actors in the film are Sohan Borcar, Joanne de Cunha, Manna Mohie, and Dylan Rodrigues. This film also marks Razak Khan’s last motion picture, as he passed away soon after.
“So basically, the film is about a con artist and a lottery scam. It shows what happens after you have submitted the documents” explained Milroy, adding the leading band MLTR (Michael Learns to Rock) joined the movie team so they have an amazing background score and theme song.
The music director is from Kochi – Kishor Mohan – who also did a part of the title score. The title song is done by Shashaa Tirupati. Milroy continued, “I wanted the film to be less Bollywood flavoured and more logical. At first, the producer was hesitant but I stood my ground and we finally agreed. The movie starts with Konkani and English, merges with Hindi and then goes onto Punjabi.”
IFFI being held in our own state is usually the first place one would assume a director to pitch his film. But the academy has certain guidelines which they have to abide by, which requires them to screen the film first in their country i.e. Los Angeles. That is why this movie didn’t feature at the recent edition of IFFI. He plans to premiere his film Welcome Millions in Goa itself though.
Milroy has always loved the horror genre. He watches many episodes on Netflix and American Horror Stories for ideas. “I like gothic horror because I like horror stories that are realistic and not made-up. In fact, the next movie I am planning to make will be in this genre only. I would like to shoot it in Goa because its story is based on the superstitious beliefs present in Goa. I directed a horror film ‘Unexpected’ earlier but for this, I am hoping for better funding and producers from Goa.” the script already prepared, Milroy is on the lookout for Goan producers now. “Goa has just two drawbacks for cinema – it lacks in the technical aspect, plus the funding is low. But BFX Goa has some good sound.”
The biggest achievement for Goa is Bellroy Barreto, and that is whom Milroy looks up to and aims to reach. Similar to Welcome Millions, he hopes to make his next film also multi-lingual. His aim for all his future works is the Oscars. Milroy is keenly observant of nature and people; so much so that he can figure out a person’s zodiac sign just by reading his behaviour. This skill helps him choose the right actors for the roles so that there is greater connect with the audience. On a parting note, he shared his life’s motto with us, “To try and create something different and unique each time!”