Kharkar grew up in Aurangabad in Maharashtra and moved to the
United States in 2001. A chemical engineer by training, he now
works as a software engineer in Illinois state. But his passion is
cinema, to which he has taken a circuitous route -via Marathi
theatre in Aurangabad and English theatre in Chicago.
He got a break when he was chosen to play a Russian character in
the play, 'Intelligent design of Jenny Chow' staged at a community
theater in a Chicago suburb. Three years later he was the
assistant director for the theatre adaptation of the popular
television series 'M*A*S*H.
Kharkar has had no formal training in cinema. "But my stint in the
theater groomed me for cinema," he told Hi India, an Indian
American newspaper published here.
His films have been steadily winning an audience, and critical
acclaim. 'Drive while texting' a short film he co-wrote, directed
and produced is available on You Tube. He said that after watching
a public screening of the film, several teen drivers took a pledge
not to text while driving. Another two minute film "My dad, my
hero" won two awards at the 2011 Life Fest Film Festival in Los
"Welcome to Chicago' was made for an Indian community convention
held in Chicago in 2011. Kharkar got together 40 amateur artists
ranging from seven to seventy years of age. "Nina's wish" is a ten
minute short about a nine year old and her Christmas wish about
her grandmother's health.
"A reason to live" is a 31-minute documentary about a young poet
who has won an Indian award for his creativity despite suffering
from cerebral palsy. Kharkar said this film could quite possibly
be the first Marathi documentary produced in the United States.
In 2012, Kharkar produced and directed "Coin Toss" a 97-minute
film which has shown at the 11th Route 66 International Film
Festival in Springfield, Illinois. DVDs of the film are available
from Amazon and it will also be available shortly from I Tunes, he
His next film is "Chicago wedding', which Kharkar calls a comedy
revolving around an Indian American marriage. He is in the process
of casting for the film and hopes to have it released by September
Like anyone who has had the opportunity to live a passion, Kharkar
is gratified at what he has achieved so far. "Cinema, for me, is a
self- taught art," he said, "although my background in
helped a lot." As one who grew up in a small town, he also has a
sense of fulfillment that he is experimenting in a language far
removed from his native tongue.
"English is not my first language. But the language of cinema is
universal and it can transcend all provincial barriers, " he said.