Cinema for her is a catalyst of change. Themes and issues that bother her find a voice in her work. Namrata Goyal brought one such film, Chuskit, to Chandigarh on Tuesday.
This journey of a little paraplegic girl in a Himalayan village has been doing rounds of festivals. Namrata says, “Disability is really looked down upon in our country. Then there is discrimination against the girl child. These are two issues that I strongly feel about and they come together in this film.”
Happy interacting with the students of Dikshant School, this graduate from the Queen Mary University of London shares, “Cinema has always fascinated me.” Putting a project together, getting all the elements — acting, writing, sound, lighting -gives her an adrenaline rush. It’s in production that her heart lies, “I am a control freak and love to put everything together. And I can do that way better as a producer than an actor,” she laughs.
While Chuskit is her second feature film after Manto, she has to her credit many critically acclaimed short films and a docu-drama on her father — Naresh Goyal, Founder Chairman of Jet Airways. “I really look up to my father for the values he has treaded on. From losing everything at 12, as his house was auctioned, he promised her mother to ensure all the comforts of the world and lived up to that,” says the proud daughter.
However, she wants her own identity, “I don’t want to be called my father’s daughter but be capable enough that he’s known as my father.”
She juggles her love for filmmaking, reading and newfound interest in poetry with business seamlessly, “I handle the creative side of Jet, and leave the finances and other serious aspects to my brother. Between the two of us, we have that understanding,” she laughs.
She is also involved with the NGO Mijwan and credits Shabana Azmi for it, “Much of my cinematic inspiration and work towards women empowerment stems from her; she is like a mother to me and an inspiration at every step.”
Namrata Goyal takes pride in Punjabi roots. “I am very fond of kadi chawal, bhindi and sarson ka saag,” she shares. As for language, “I can understand Punjabi perfectly well as my grandmother spoke it, but speaking is not really my strength.”
As for films, tying up with studios is next on her agenda, “That sure helps reach the masses.” A courtroom drama on consensual sex and rape is the subject of her new film.
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