Madhureeta Anand is a film writer and director. Extremely prolific, she has directed two feature films, written five feature films, directed many documentary films and series, spanning an array of genres. Many of her films have won national and international awards.
She also writes for various websites and magazines and has been featured in various books and other publications.
She is also an activist for women’s rights and rights of other minorities.
Madhureeta Anand’s second feature film titled “Kajarya”, had a successful pan India theatrical release on the 4th of December 2015. Kajarya premiered at The Dubai International Film Festival. Kajarya was chosen as one of the top five films to see in 2014 by Forbes Magazine. Kajarya won the best foreign film award at The Silk Route Film Festival in China. The Film’s Swiss Premier took place in Geneva at The International Human Rights Film Festival where Kajarya was one of the 8 films in competition. The film was also selected to The Montreal World Film Festival and Elless Tournet Brussels where it was the opening film of the festival. The film has an all‐new star cast of trained actors and is currently on Netflix.
She wrote, directed and executive produced with PVR Pictures, her first full‐length commercial feature film ‘Mere Khwabon Mein Jo Aaye’, starring Randeep Hooda, Arbaaz Khan and Raima Sen, which released pan India on February 6, 2009. The film was a romance set in New Delhi.
She has been on the Jury of IFFI Goa, 2016. The festival is Government of India’s film festival held annually to celebrate national and international cinema.
Tell us about any current projects or initiatives you wish to promote
While my upcoming filmmaking projects are varied from international cinema pieces to mainline films. I’m very excited about all these projects and cant wait to start on them -which should be very soon now. The first of my films to roll out will be Agra Bazaar.
On the activism side I am working on a campaign to inform people about pornography. The campaign is called “Know Your Porn” There is just so much porn circulating in India, and as the digital/internet presence grows so will the use of porn. But there is no information or discussion about it. Let me clarify that we are not campaigning to ban it – we are making films and a campaign to create awareness and help people to discuss their concerns around it. For example the use of children in Porn in India has gone up 142 percent. But those watching these films do not know how highly illegall they are. Plus there are incidences of porn addiction and people do not know about it.
When the films are made we want the films to be sent out far and wide and for free and launch a media campaign alongside.
What has been your biggest challenge in achieving your success?
Challenges to achieving success are always internal. While being a woman and a complete outsider to the Indian film industry did provide challenges – the biggest hurdles are in one’s mind. The challenges for me personally have been to see and value myself as a professional. To see my work in a context and in a sense demand it’s worth. This process can be painful because it means letting go of some people from your environment who are detrimental to you but in the end it’s extremely rewarding. Everyone should aim to be the best they can be and surround themselves with people who support that vision.
What has been your greatest achievement personally?
To be able to grow beyond limitations of the mind and conditioning.
If you weren’t doing what you do now, what would you be doing?
I would be in a village in India, working for the people’s betterment.
Who has been your biggest inspiration?
I am inspired by many people in different fields – filmmaking it would be Akira Kurosawa, Satyajit Ray, Jane Campion, Bimal Roy and many many others. In the world of activism it would be Eve Ensler, Kamla Bhasin and many other women and men working to better the world. Commitment, Excellence and passion are always inspiring.
What does the future hold for you?