Track Nation Next on Social Media


Parched will make you laugh, cry and angry, says filmmaker Leena Yadav

Leena Yadav

Filmmaker Leena Yadav who’s known for her directorial ventures with unconventional storylines – Shabd (2005) and Teen Patti (2010) – has been creating ripples across the globe with her yet another unconventional film Parched. The film, which revolves around the lives of four rural women and their struggles, has been appreciated by the audience and critics alike in international film festivals in London, Miami and Toronto. While Parched, which releases in India on September 23, is all about women emancipation, Leena is not comfortable being tagged as a woman director. No male director is called a male director, so why call me a ?woman director?? she asks. Here’s Leena Yadav unplugged in an exclusive interview with Nation Next?

Being an economics graduate from Lady Shri Ram College in Delhi, how did you divert to a creative field like filmmaking?

After my graduation in economics from Lady Shri Ram College, I was supposed to pursue my MBA. While I was in college, I didn’t really enjoy studying economics. I was involved in a lot of curricular activities. Just before, I was supposed to take my MBA entrance exam, I suddenly realised that I didn’t want to be stuck in a ₹9 to 5? job! I wanted to do something else. I wanted to try my hands in the field of media. I came to Mumbai and enrolled myself in a mass communication course at Sophia College. Gradually, I entered the world of filmmaking.

Your film Parched is releasing on September 23 but you have been screening your film across international film festivals for more than a year. Is it a marketing strategy to make the film known internationally before releasing it in India?

There was no strategy involved. We wanted to screen our film at various festivals first because it’s difficult for a film like Parchedto get a commercial release outside India. Also, this is a film that we made to initiate an international debate on women issues. The world premier happened at Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) and since then, the international journey of the film began. We got many invitations from various international film festivals.

What should the audience expect from the film? Is it an entertainer or a film with a social message?

It’s a film that everybody would relate to. The reason why I now can say this with confidence is because Parched has been recognised worldwide. The movie will make them laugh, cry and angry. It will be like a roller coaster ride full of emotions.

Ajay Devgn is co-producing the film with your husband Aseem Bajaj. As hes famous for being a big-hearted producer, how was working with him? Is he a directors delight?

Ajay, more than anything, has been an immense support to the film. Hes not hands on produced the film. Despite knowing the fact that it would be a difficult film, he supported us the moment he came to know Aseem and I were doing this project. At every step, hes guided, supported and helped us. Hes extremely large-hearted.

Nagpur based businessman Rohan Jagdale has also co-produced the film. How was your experience working with him?

Ajay (Devgn) was the first one to come and support the film. We then started raising finance. The film absolutely wouldn’t have been possible without Rohan Jagdale and Gulab Singh Tanwar too. They have been extremely supportive and have traveled to as many film festivals as possible with me. Parched was never a project.

Since there are four producers for the film Parched, did it increase your accountability as a director?

No, because all our producers came on board for this film in support of the vision. They left all the producing part actively onto Aseem. I had to deal with just one producer Aseem. Our producers, except for him, provided us with support and made sure that nothing stops the project.

The two prominent actresses of Parched ? Radhika Apte and Surveen Chawla have garnering a lot of popularity as Bollywood bombshells. Is it their image makeover of sorts because of the rural setting of the movie?

I actually never approached Radhika or Surveen for their image makeover. Both of them are brilliant actresses. Third actress in the film is Tannistha Chatterjee. We chose these three actresses because they act great.I don’t think an actress has a particular image. They are actors for a reason and they can be made to look the way you like and need.

You have done a lot of TV shows ? fictional and non-fictional both. As a director, what do you enjoy more ? films or TV shows

Story telling is my job. Whether it’s television, silver screen, radio, theatre, etc, I don’t differentiate among the mediums.

Out of your three films, Shabd and Parched can be called women centric films but you don’t like to be tagged as a woman director. What is your idea of feminism?

My idea of feminism or humanism is being an individual, and being recognised as an individual only irrespective of the gender, caste, creed or religion. I’m a woman and I’m proud of it! No male director is called a male director?, so why call me a ?woman director?? Why to put me in a box?

Your films look aesthetically perfect. How much do you attribute it to your husband – ace cinematographer Aseem Bajaj?

Not just my husband, I attribute it to every artist I work with in my films because filmmaking is a collaborative art. It’s not a one-man-show. A director just has a vision, which she/he communicates with the team members.

How was working with your husband Aseem Bajaj?

Working with him hasn’t been a new thing for me. We met each other at work. Hes shot my first two earlier films too.

Continue Reading
Click to comment
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Nagpur News

Rina Sinha becomes Charter President of RMBRCN



The Rotary Means Business chapter of Rotary Club Of Nagpur (RMBRCN) celebrated their Charter Presentation and Installation of Board on September 17, 2023 in a crisp official ceremony at Hotel Centre Point, Nagpur.

Rotary Means Business encourages Rotarians to support the success of their fellow Rotarians by doing business with them and by referring others to them.

Charter President Past President Rtn Rina Sinha presided over the ceremony. Renowned entrepreneur and Rotarian Aspi Bapuna, Chairman of Bapuna Group, was the Chief Guest and  Rtn Namita Sharma, President of RCN, was the Guest of Honour.

The Board of Directors of RMBRCN include Rtn Navneet Jain, Vice President, Rtn Mohanned Master Honorary Secretary, Rtn Sanjay Aggarwal Treasurer, Rtn Rakhi Bhatia Director Chapter Service, Rtn Rahul Shrivastava, Director Vocational Service, Dr Ruchi Choudhry, Director Membership Development, Ranjana Duseja, Director Attendance.

Past Rotary District Governor (PDG) Shabbir Shakir, Past Presidents- Bharat Goenka , Khushnoor Chugh, Sanjiv Chugh, Akhtar Parvez, Tejinder Singh Rawal, Alok Goenka,  Jerestine Watchmaker, Sandeep Dhodapkar, Sanjay Arora, President RMB Nagpur, and Behram Patel  were present.

President Rina Sinha informed that within a short period of its formation already 48 members representing various businesses  have joined the chapter and the numbers are increasing . The Chapter has already crossed 5 crores of business amongst their members and RMB will further strengthen Rotary in membership growth and retention .

Chief Guest Rtn Aspi Bapuna lauded the chapter’s success and reiterated that its comfortable and safe to do business among fellow rotarians as all follow the Four Way Test of Rotary. Jerestine introduced President Rina. Aspi Bapuna  presented the charter and installed President Rina Sinha . Rtn Namita congratulated the RMB chapter and informed that this is the new initiative at RCN.The Board was installed by Rina Sinha and all members were installed by the Past Presidents. An exclusive digital Monthly Magazine ‘Growth Engine’ was launched by Editor Niharika Chugh Vali.

 Navneet Jain and Rahul Choudhry conducted the referral and thank you session where enthusiastic members informed about their successful business details. Nishchay Sinha launched the social media and MYRMB app which connects members to other chapters digitally, Treasurer Sanjay Agarwal gave treasurers report, Rtn Rakhi Bhatia managed the event. Rtn Parag Datey and Niharika were the Masters of Ceremony (MOCs). Secretary Mohammed Master proposed the formal Vote of Thanks .

Also read: Jayaswal Neco group celebrate BL Shaw’s 90th Birthday, 50th Founder’s Day in a huge gala event in Nagpur

Continue Reading

Nagpur News

Nitin Gadkari inaugurates double-decker electric bus availed for senior citizens in Nagpur



Minister of Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari, on Saturday, inaugurated the double-decker electric bus designed for senior citizens in Nagpur. The initiative has been undertaken in association with Ashok Leyland’s CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) Committee and Jyeshtha Nagarik Pratishthan.

Executive President of Jyeshtha Nagarik Pratishthan Datta Meghe, Vice Chairman of Ashok Leyland Limited Yash Sachar, CEO of Switch Mobility Mahesh Babu, and other dignitaries were present during the inauguration.

“I am very thankful to Ashok Leyland’s electric vehicle arm ‘Switch Mobility’ for donating an electric bus for our senior citizens. The bus can hold a capacity of 65 people and will benefit a lot to disabled and senior citizens,” Gadkari said.

“We already have a green Electra bus available to us for the past five to six years. Krishna Reddy has taken the responsibility of repairing and providing air-conditioning to the bus, moreover, he is providing us with one additional bus. A Tata Motor bus will be arriving this month as well, giving us a total of four buses to operate. This will solve the issue of waiting list due to the lack of buses for senior citizens in the city.” he added.

With the help of these buses, senior citizens can avail the benefit of free trips to religious places like Ambhora, Adasa, Shegaon, Mahur, Dhapewada, and Kalamb.

Also read: NMC confiscates 117 PoP idols, collects Rs 10,000 fine from seller


Continue Reading

Nagpur News

Nagpur: Married man accused of girlfriend’s rape commits suicide on Facebook live



A 38-year-old married man named Manish alias Raj Yadav, on Sunday, committed suicide during a Facebook live-stream after allegedly being accused of rape by his girlfriend and her family in Nagpur.

During the live stream, Manish, who was married and a father to three children, stated that his 19-year-old girlfriend, Kajal, along with her family members demanded a sum of five lakh rupees and threatened to press charges of rape if he failed to do so.

On September 6, the situation became grave as the woman’s family accused him of eloping after Kajal went missing from her residence.

The deceased refused the claims of having any sexual relationship with the woman and identified her, her family, and a photo studio operator responsible for his condition. He, then, jumped into the river.

After the live video surfaced online, Kalamna Police launched a search operation and recovered the deceased’s body from the river. Four people have been detained in the case for questioning. Further investigation is underway.

Also read: NMC confiscates 117 PoP idols, collects Rs 10,000 fine from seller

Continue Reading
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x