Kolkata-born Rajshree Ojha went to the US in 1994 to study computer science and ended up studying filmmaking following her graduation. Her short film Moment won her a student Oscar. A decade later, she returned to India to direct her debut feature Chaurahen (2007) starring Soha Ali Khan, Zeenat Aman, Roopa Ganguly among others. The arthouse film didn’t get a wide viewership for lack of funds and distributors but it was her sophomore effort Aisha that brought her to the limelight three years later.
Today, Rajshree joins us for our ‘1 Minute With’ series and takes on our rapid fire questions with wit and candour. Read on!
1. What is the last film you saw?
2. A filmmaker who inspires you?
3. A book you’d want to make into a film?
The Lowland – Jhumpa Lahiri
4. Recommend read?
The Space Between Us by Thrity Umrigar
5. A book that should never have been made into a film?
Memoirs of the Geisha
6. A film that was better than the book..
The Namesake (2006)
7. A film that changed your life?
Persona (1966) – Ingmar Bergman
8. Toughest thing about being a filmmaker?
9. The last good film/web series you saw?
I saw Invisible on Netflix and Thelma and Louise again the other day! So a good web series and good film in the last few days is a good month.
10. A film that should have never been made?
Kabir Singh (2019)
11. A film you can watch over and over?
Harry Met Sally (1989)
12. A weird/unlikely place you found an actor for your film…
Wrong phone connection and I found my first actor. Luisa.
13. What do you look for in an actor?
Understanding of the material
14. A tip for aspiring actors?
Don’t look for star vehicle, look for good script/story.
15. If you could change one thing about the film industry…
“from star-driven to story-driven”