Budding Jaipur filmmaker Neha Maheshwari shares her ideas and passion of film making with Sonalika Singh
‘Making money wasn’t the only goal in my life, I wanted to pursue something which was very dynamic and did not have preset rules which I had to follow’, says Neha Maheshwari, an upcoming film director who has given the audience an opportunity to connect with her through her short film ‘New Girl’. The New Girl is a film about an ordinary girl who experiences certain situations in her life which changes her perception about life and society.
Neha, who has co-directed this movie, realized that her job was not proving her enough satisfaction and the word ‘journalism’ as a field, was taking its rounds at that time. She saw an advertisement in the newspaper about Amity University, Jaipur, offering a master’s degree course in Journalism and Mass Communication and she felt that this was her calling.
She says, ‘I had the habit of writing diaries since the age of eight and maybe till now I must have written thirty diaries to be exact. I always had the knack of becoming a good storyteller and wanted to recite those stories in my own way so that people could relate to the story more. Neha wanted to pursue Criminal Journalism but due to her family issues she could not. Her faculty at the University gave her an idea to pursue acting but it wasn’t her cup of tea and therefore she felt that direction was a medium for her to stay connected with acting and as well as execute her stories on the big screen.
New Girl has found its recognition through awards bagged at Calcutta Cult Film Festival, Golden Fox Film Festival, Jaipur International Film Festival and Kaaryat International Film Festival of India in categories of best short films. Her inspiration for making this film arose from her own life and she believes in making films that come out from her experiences so that she can help the viewers to connect more with it. ‘I believe film making is a two-way process in which the film adds something to our life, and we add something to the film’, Neha says.
The one biggest lesson in which direction has taught Neha is that of how to convert her sadness or negative energy into something productive which at the end will make her feel happy. She has made good use of the current situation of lockdown by writing short stories, script, and screenplays. She has written a total of seven stories which include the scripts of two feature films and five short films.
One tip which Neha gives to the ones who want to pursue direction is that ‘you need to have a passion for direction and shouldn’t have a plan B. Direction requires a sense of madness, vision, and passion. You need to have a vision of your own and need not follow others’. The mantra of making a good film according to her is that a lot of effort must be put in the pre-production homework and we need to be prepared to experience any sort of difficulty or situation that arises on the set while filming the final outcome.