Exclusive interview with Linaa Yadav Filmaker in India

By Jean-Paul Eliard
The 24 May 2016

Hello Linaa, can you introduce visitors to cinema-movietheater.com?

Hello! My name is Linaa Yadav and I made a film called La saison des femmes’ which released in France on the 20th April 2016. ‘Parched’ is the English title of the film. ‘Parched’ is my third film. Before this I made  SHABD (2005) and TEEN PATTI (2010)
Have you had problems during the shooting for your movie “Parched” (2015)?

Every film comes with it’s own set of challenges and difficulties. We had numerous challenges with ‘Parched’ too. Starting with the funding. It was very difficult to get funding for a film with women as protagonists and no ‘stars’ in the cast. Also the subject matter of ‘Parched’ is very sensitive. 
Finally we raised the funds through two private investors who believed in our vision – Rohan Jagdale and Gulab Singh Tanvar. 
We also got support from the Indian super star Ajay Devgn who supported our vision. 
The real force behind ‘Parched’ is my husband Aseem Bajaj who is also an established cinematographer in India. 
He spear headed the production and made the project happen. Other than this we faced numerous challenges on a daily basis on sets and even off it. But we had the support of one of the most brilliant teams on the film and we together overcame all challenges.

Will -it-be distributed in India? and when will release it in India?

‘Parched’ will definitely be released in India later in the year. We are currently in conversation with various distributors about this. The real challenge in India will be protecting the film from the Censors. But the atmosphere in India is changing and we are hopeful that India can see the film that the world is seeing! 

The shooting has He been difficult for actresses?

The actresses broke a lot of personal and professional boundaries to do these roles and I salute them for that. We do not show nudity in Indian films and that was very challenging for the actors. But the actors showed a lot of spirit and strength by accepting these roles and bringing them to life so beautifully. 

Could you tell us,  how did you meet your actresses?

Tannishtha Chaterjee (Rani) was part of the birth of this film as it all began in a conversation with her. 
The second person I met was Radhika Apte (Lajjo) and I tested her for the role of Lajjo. 
At the first audition itself I knew I had found my Lajjo. Radhika was magical. Bijli was the toughest part to cast as she needed to be of a certain spirit and also I needed someone who is a good dancer. 
I had the help of a brilliant casting director called Mukesh Chabbra. He auditioned a lot of girls for Bijli and then one day they showed me the audition of Surveen Chawla…
I was floored! Mukesh and his team then helped me cast all the other characters in the film. I believe that I could not have found a better cast for any of the roles. I got to work with an extremely talented and committed set of actors in ‘Parched’.  
What is the status of women in India? And girls to go to school?

India is a vast country that has many realities… not one. We have a very progressive India where women are very educated and are leading in various fields. 
Then we have the India where there is no education and source of information. But the world is changing and so is India – step by little step. There are increasing voices in our cinema too that are women.
Why did you do this movie as independent film industry?

I made this film as an Indie because I wanted it to be true to what it needed to be. I did not want to ‘cater’ to a specific audience! 

Do you think that this movie can change something for women in India?

It is not so simple. If movies could change society, we would probably be living in paradise now! But I do hope and pray that the film provokes a much needed dialogue. A dialogue is the start of some change. 

What is your next challenge?

I am working on a couple of scripts. I don’t yet know which will get made first. 
But they are all human dramas with great characters.

Thank you for this interview and wish you the best for you and your movie Parched 

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