Na­tional Award win­ner AVAN­TIKA HARI on her brush with fame, up­com­ing projects, and her love of ro­man­tic movies

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Writer, di­rec­tor, pro­ducer and soon-to-be mother, Avan­tika Hari wears her many la­bels with ease. How­ever, this Na­tional Award-win­ning au­teur has dis­tin­guished her­self from the breed of artists who rely on a genre to type­cast their work—she as­pires to bridge the gap, and this is pre­cisely what sets her apart.

Hari’s path-break­ing di­rec­to­rial de­but, Land Gold­women re­volved around a Bri­tish-asian fam­ily caught be­tween their tra­di­tional past and a tu­mul­tuous, fac­tion-driven present; it also ad­dressed the so­cial malaise of hon­our killings. Feted at film fes­ti­vals the world over, the movie won her a Na­tional Award back home. “The Na­tional Award gave me the con­fi­dence to be­lieve that I can make cinema which au­di­ences can con­nect with,” she says. “It was also heart­en­ing to note thatjurymem­ber­slooke­datthe­filmas­be­ing an­i­m­por­tant­con­tri­bu­tion to the dis­course of cinema in the coun­try.”

This isn’t Hari’s first brush with fame though—she has as­sisted on the Com­mon­wealth Vi­sion Award-win­ning Hat Day, a short movie that cen­tres around the events that take place dur­ing Hat Day at a Bri­tish school. Hav­ing stud­ied at the London Film School, and sub­se­quently worked at me­dia houses in New York and Sin­ga­pore, Hari says she is all set for main­stream cinema now and is in the process of cast­ing for her up­com­ing projects. The first is an up­lift­ing story of a new-age politi­cian who sets out to storm the po­lit­i­cal stage in the coun­try, and the sec­ond, ti­tled Aam Junta is an ac­tion-packed, po­lit­i­cal thriller. She is also work­ing with her hus­band on their new pro­duc­tion com­pany A Richer Lens, which pro­duced the re­cent ro­man­tic drama London Paris Newyork.

“I’m a big ro­man­tic movies buff and am look­ing for­ward to Jai Mar­ried Jeena, a fresh new take on re­la­tion­ships, which our pro­duc­tion com­pany is han­dling. It is en­light­en­ing to learn some­thing new ev­ery day, and I look for­ward to broad­en­ing my hori­zons,” she says. Take note, she is one to watch out for.

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