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Meet Aastha Verma of SaadhVish Films

Today we’d like to introduce you to Aastha Verma.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
One Picture speaks a thousand words was a thought that was always lingering in my head full of one big dream – to be a successful photographer. Ansel Adams changed for me what he changed for most people – ‘Perspective.’ Very soon every blink of an eye seemed to look like a story in itself – whether it was an empty wall with a canvas in my room or a beautiful view of the Swiss mountains.

It all started with a Motorola cellphone, I took up a small Photography course in Dubai, the city I call home. With limited resources in the city, the best I could get was just enough to brush up my amateur skills and enhance what skills I had with a handful of classes. I remember being gifted a Nikon D3100. All of this while I did my Bachelors and Masters in International Business Management.

One summer, I took an internship for a month, sitting on that desk for a week, from 9am-5pm made me realize that this isn’t what I’m meant to be doing. As cheesy as it may sound, the internship soon turned into my research time, looking into options to pursue my Masters in Photography. My parents always supported my dreams of being who I wanted to, but they also asked me one question which changed it all – “How about Filmmaking?” and rest is history.

Two years in Los Angeles and there has been no looking back. Of course, Pictures are a part of my life. But now I challenge myself with giving a visual voice to the stories I work on. All my work here has been dedicated to my over-arching theme of female protagonists and highlight the stories which must be told but are hidden behind doors and unexpressed emotions.

Has it been a smooth road?
I wouldn’t call it all a struggle, I’d say it was a challenge. Doing my Masters in Filmmaking ideally meant that I should have some experience making films – I had absolutely none, I just spoke the language of pictures. I started from scratch. Everyone around me had this deep passion for films and myself, on the other hand, didn’t even know the biggest names of Hollywood directors.

I had questioned my ability to do this at a point, but I soon came out of it when, in my mind, I faced the biggest challenge for me at that point – to tell a story I was passionate about, I felt that needed to be told but was held back in every way possible. It happened, either way, I got lucky with the people I was surrounded with, out of which – some I met for a reason and some for a life-long lesson.

One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned living here is that there are no smooth roads, and if there are, where is all the fun? As a young girl, my parents instilled in me that every moment in a day is a challenge. At that time it always felt like they were just saying one more thing, but living away from home really puts you through it all and gives you a larger than life perspective.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the SaadhVish Films story. Tell us more about the business.
I would describe myself as a trio of Producer, Writer, and Director. I’ve Written and Directed – ‘The Unsung Feather’, my most recent film which has been recognized for its screenplay as of now. I am also currently producing my upcoming short – ‘The Last Rights’ which will be filmed in India.

That being said, at a large scale, I am known for most of my work as a Production Designer on over 15 short films – to name a few – Cross Words Together (Shubham Sanjay Shevade), Goodman (Kuanysh Stakhanov), Peppermint (Poorva S Wacch), Ghungroo (Hanee Chavan). I have had the greatest opportunity to work with visionary, award-winning Directors and Writers with stories filled with cultural values and stories about human relationships. I got the opportunity to Produce ‘Cross Words Together’, a film by Shubham Sanjay Shevade and ‘Work From Home Pvt. Ltd.’, a film by Jeet Desai – both with female protagonists and powerful leads.

How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
I think films are already changing, adapting to the current social environment, especially towards the rights of women and the underrepresented communities.

The upcoming years should be able to change the outlook of these communities as alike, not tagged with titles underrepresented or discriminated.

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