NECC Observer

The student news website of Northern Essex Community College, Haverhill and Lawrence, Mass.

NECC alumn, Gyani Wasp, discusses creative inspirations and pursuit of a career in filmmaking

A photo of Gyani Wasp

Gyani Pradhan Wong Ah Sui (a.k.a. Gyani Wasp), 18, is an international student and NECC film major alumni who is currently majoring in screen studies at Clark University in Worcester, Mass. Originating from Mauritius, a country in East Africa where his father grew up, Wasp moved to Sikkim, India, where his mother is from when he was 9 years old.

By the eighth grade, Wasp had developed an affinity for reading and writing  — especially after devouring the entire “Percy Jackson” book series by Rick Riordan. This creative spark soon translated into an interest in storytelling, as he began to write his own stories and watch various genres of film. At age 15, Wasp moved to the United States as an exchange student after the principal from his high school in Sikkim suggested that he study abroad. “

He [the principal] was like a mentor to me—an encouraging and charismatic leader who motivated many students. A lot of my ambition comes from what he believed was possible for me,” said Wasp. “My new high school had a big focus on creativity and encouraged me to think outside the box. It made me begin to look at film as art because it blends so many different art forms together, and that really excited me.”

Soon enough, Wasp realized that he wanted to actually see the visions of the stories he had written come to life. “I begged my parents to get me a camera for Christmas and started working on small goofy projects with friends. Then throughout high school, I started making travel videos and vlogs with my family,” said Wasp.

When the COVID-19 pandemic initially began in 2020, Wasp decided to spend his free time watching at least one film a day for the duration of lockdown to learn more about the history of filmography. By using the app called Letterbox, Wasp participated in writing numerous critical reviews and journals to keep track of his movie recommendations and watching progress.

Photos by Gyani Wasp

Wasp is particularly drawn to international films, as he stated that only listening to American voices can feel limiting, as different cultures have alternative perspectives on film and the art of storytelling. Some of his favorite international directors include Alfonzo Cuaron, Edward Yang, and Gaspar Noe. “I watched a lot of Wes Anderson and Christopher Nolan movies, followed many major production houses, such as A26, and also watched many YouTube film essays from “The Criterion Collection”, which discusses a variety of films more in-depth,” said Wasp. His favorite actors include Ryan Gosling, Scarlett Johansson, and Ethan Hawke. Wasp also stated that despite Stanley Kubrick’s controversial personality, he would most like to work with him as a director because he appreciates his talent.

“I want to change the landscape of what people talk about, and I want my stories to be personal and authentic. The idea of ‘home’ is a super relevant theme to me, personally, because I’ve moved around all throughout my life,” said Wasp.

Wasp plans to stay in the United States and pursue a career in filmmaking. He is hoping to find a job or an internship at a film production company after graduation.

“I would love to work at Sundance, and I’m hoping to direct movies someday. That’s the plan,” said Wasp.

Wasp has also created a YouTube channel under the name of “Gyani Wasp” in which his films and videos are displayed and can be viewed by the public.