Nirvan Mullick is a filmmaker, writer, speaker, stop motion animator, and founder of the Imagination Foundation. In April 2012, Nirvan released the short documentary Caine's Arcade about a nine-year-old boy who created a cardboard arcade in his father’s auto parts shop. The video became a viral phenomenon, achieving international media attention and launching a movement of “cardboard creativity.”
The official website sought donations for a college fund for young Caine Monroy, with an objective of $25,000. Ten days after the release of the videos, donations had reached $180,000. The Goldhirsh Foundation then announced a matching challenge grant of up to $250,000 for the initiation of the Imagination Foundation, founded by Nirvan, which has a mission to “find, foster, and fund creativity and entrepreneurship in more kids like Caine.”
Interview by Jack Little.
Published in The Ofi Press issue 44.
1. What drew you towards film making over other art forms as the way to express your creativity?
Film making is just one of many ways I express my creativity. I also draw, do photography, write, sculpt, and try to play with the world around me. With film, I love stories and philosophy, and film making is often the best vehicle for my ideas. A great story can reach millions of people and have tremendous impact.
2. What has been your personal highlight so far in your artistic career?
To see the emotional response people have had to Caine's Arcade, and the ongoing impact the film has had for Cain and millions of children and countless educators. It has been a dream.
3. Related to the Imagination Foundation, why is it important to foster and develop entrepreneurial skills in young people?
It's important to foster a generation of entrepreneurial and creative problem solvers who can help shape a future that is changing faster than ever, and solve problems that we've never faced. Entrepreneurs are great at finding resourceful solutions to challenging problems.
4. Why do you think Caine’s story has been so inspirational to so many people all over the world?
I think we can all relate to being a kid with an active imagination and big dreams. To see Caine, who worked so hard and never gave up, finally have his dream come true shows us that the world really can be the way we all want it to be; a place where communities can come together and support the dreams of children like Caine around the world.
5. If you had to give one piece of advice to a young person who wants to make a positive change in the world, what would it be?
Do something you love and do not give up.