In a world like ours, it’s hard for people, especially women, to commit themselves equally to all their passions and pursuits. And yet, Sruti Harihara Subramanian’s story is inspirational. She has donned multiple hats — that of actress, theatre artiste, filmmaker, entrepreneur, and even scriptwriter! “Being a typical tambram from Mylapore, you don’t consider unconventional careers. I am a creative person by nature, and when the time came to decide what I wanted to do with my life, I freaked out! The thought of not being able to do something with my creativity was simply inconceivable,” she recalls.
She realised that cinema was her life and during college, she took up modeling assignments and theatre. “While modelling and theatre exposed me to life in front of the camera, I became curious about the roles behind the camera. And I became an assistant director,” says Sruti. Her first real break came as assistant to actor/director Revathy and further projects with directors like Vikram K Kumar, Vishnu Vardhan, eventually branching out as an independent filmmaker with her own company — Happy Wanderers. She is also the co-founder of Ashvita Company and The Cinema Resource Centre, along with husband and filmmaker Ashvin Rajagopalan.
When asked about her current project, she smiles. “I am very busy promoting A Far Afternoon, a painted saga by Krishen Khanna, which I directed. It’s not a biography, rather it gives a glimpse into the life of an amazing artist through his artwork, a 20-foot painting that took six months to complete. It’s my first attempt at documentary filmmaking.”
How was the experience? “It’s different and scary in the beginning. India doesn’t have a culture attuned to documentary films, but I believe that at the end of the day, any film, whether fiction or non-fiction, should be entertaining to the audience. You have to be prepared to expect the unexpected. Thus, I have tried to make it gripping, and even somebody who doesn’t know about art, can take back something,” she says.
Having acted in several Tamil soaps, ad films, and plays for Theatre Nisha among other theatre companies, will we see her in a full-fledged commercial Kolly film? “I love acting and facing the camera, because compared to the stress of being behind the camera, it is a breeze,” she laughs and adds, “Although I have been offered a couple of films in Tamil, none of them have caught my attention. With theatre — I do act occasionally, but the stage is something that requires commitment and complete focus everyday; I’m not able to give it as much time as I had hoped,” rues Sruti.
So, what has she planned for this year? “I am currently proposing a script I have written themed around fantasy, while also writing another family-oriented drama. Apart from that, I am hoping to write scripts for the Malayalam industry, as my writing relates to that culture more,” Sruti says on a concluding note....