Juhi Sharma, a cinematographer from Chennai, who has worked in many documentaries and ad films, has started a crowdfunding campaign for a film direction course at the renowned Brooklyn College’s Feirstein Graduate School of Cinema, New York.
Juhi, who is also part of Indian Women Cinematographers Collective, dreams of making quality films for Indian children —“There is a paucity of good Indian cinema for children. There is hardly anyone who wants to make children movies. I want to make films, especially for kids, that will be worth the watch. I think filmmakers have social responsibilities, which are overseen all the time.”
She adds, “As a cinematographer, I am finding it hard to bring out the messages that I want to convey. So, as a director, I aim to achieve it and this course will be instrumental in doing that.”
Juhi has resorted to the crowdfunding campaign when all the other options were of no avail to her. “I approached many banks, but they are not willing to give out loans for studies on films. Even a national award-winning cinematographer I know of couldn’t raise money to make his film! Our society refuses to see cinema as art; something that can bring out a change,” she asserts.
Some of the responses for the campaign have been heartwarming, Juhi says, “Most of the contributions were from the Indian diaspora, people I don’t even know of. A person in Bengaluru, who I didn’t know personally, went out of his way to help me. He put the word across about this initiative to numerous people. These are the people who keep me going.”
Juhi also insists that it is high time our country starts something like federal aid in the US for students. She opines it would help the youngsters as well as make them more responsible.