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Meet Hanee Chavan

Today we’d like to introduce you to Hanee Chavan.

Hanee, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
Growing up in India, and growing up in a big culturally diverse family, I was always fascinated by stories of mythology, epics, religious texts, and history. Living in my own dream world, constantly playing out scenarios in my head, I used every artistic expression to satisfy my creative instincts and channel those stories.

I am a classical Indian dancer and trained for ten years using movement and expression to tell mythological stories and using expressions and performing arts. Words had a way of pouring onto paper, that never came out through my voice, and there began my love affair with writing. Growing up an introvert, I was able to speak my truth and create characters and worlds that kept my heart warm on lonely nights. I was still not able to completely be satisfied with relieving myself off what was going on in my own headspace, and I took to Visual art, be it creating paintings, art installations, collages, and various other forms, I was able to put a feeling and a sense visually. I developed a strong sense of aesthetic and artistic understanding of colors, lines, and shapes from there.

I was completely enamored by the world of film and growing up in Mumbai, the heart of Bollywood, film is not just a medium but a culture. All my skills found a voice, as they amalgamated perfectly for me to find my calling in Film. I was able to write stories and create characters, used movement to bring them to life and then set them in a visual world that best describes them. The hunger in me as an artist was only satisfied when I started making movies, and it truly became my medium of expression.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
In my society and culture, academics was given a lot of priority. Being blessed with an academic flare, it was an extremely hard struggle to accept that I wanted to pursue a creative field and not be a lawyer or a doctor. The risk in the business and the uncertainty was always daunting, but I had to chose what I truly loved over what was right by the people around me. My parents have been integral and have gone against the norm to push me towards my creative endeavors and pursuits. My father has been my greatest inspiration and mentor through, and truly pushed me to understand my creative calling unlike the norm.

I have constantly battled various mental health disorders and have struggled from anxiety all my life, and have had a couple of depressive episodes too. The constant internal struggle and battle with my own self has been a major struggle, but my passion has always trumped and I have used my flaws and battles as a part of my stories and characters to make them not only compelling but also real and relatable.

We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
Currently, I’m a freelancer with no particular business, I am a writer-director who specializes in creating coming of age and dramatic stories that present a slice of life that mirrors society and helps to make people feel something. I also specialize in art direction and production design to create a world for the character and using the environment of the character to tell what words don’t. Being extremely particular about organization, I also enjoy being an Assistant Director, so that I can help my director fulfill their vision and complete their stories smoothly.

What makes me stand out, is that coming from a different cultural backgrounds, I am able tow holistically look beyond what meets the eye for a story, be it as a director or a production designer, diving into the psyche of the character is something I truly enjoy. My experience in different art forms also bring more to the table, as I am not restricted in form of my expression and have a package of various skills clashing to create what serves the story best.

Is our city a good place to do what you do?
Los Angeles is truly the city of angels and I have met some of the most talented and inspiring people who have truly helped shape me as an artist. Be it my mentors from the industry, or my collaborators on Indie projects, everyone has a story and vision. In the pursuit of their career, sometimes people forget to take a minute to breathe and just live life, and that’s what I like least. If you don’t experience life, how will you be able to portray it on the screen?

Contact Info:

  • Phone: 8183319721
  • Email: haneechavan@gmail.com


Image Credit:

Sean Hale, Chengyi Liu, Carlos Pascal, Giovanni Giardina, Anusha Jain

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