Posted on July 1, 2019 at 5:10 pm

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Jhanvi Motla A Filmmaker and Global Citizen: Interview

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Jhanvi Motla A Filmmaker and Global Citizen: Interview

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Jhanvi was born and raised in Mumbai, India. She earned her BA in Producing for the Visual and Media Arts from Emerson College in 2014. In the Summer of 2013, Jhanvi attended a summer intensive course at FAMU in Prague. Jhanvi has interned at a range of companies in the Development and Production departments; MGM Studios, BBC Worldwide, Lotus Entertainment, Alcon Entertainment, Andrew Lauren Productions, and Grandview/Automatik. Post Graduation, Jhanvi served as an Executive Assistant to a Writer/Producer at Warner Bros. Studios. She is expected to Graduate AFI’s Producing Program in June 2017.

Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I grew up in Mumbai and spent two years in Bangalore at a boarding school before I moved to the US for college. I never really aspired to be a filmmaker despite doing my Bachelors in film at Emerson. It was really only after moving to LA, being an assistant at Warner Brothers and realizing I truly wanted to be out on set and work closely with writers. Now after an MFA from AFI and a Producing Fellow at Project Involve I finally feel like I have a hold of what I want to do and can’t wait to make my first feature!

You had quite an incredible journey as a writer/producer. Which was your favorite project?
Picking a favorite is very akin to choosing between your children; nearly impossible to do! Every project has challenged a different part of my brain and given me the opportunity to collaborate with amazing people. I will say the most special projects are the ones I’ve written with a co-writer, there’s truly nothing more special than having a partner in crime that you can bounce ideas off of and ease the load of mental gymnastics that writing requires you to do.

How difficult was it to get started as a producer/writer? Talk about your first experience?

The most difficult thing is admitting to yourself that you want more than what you have. I come from a very humble and modest family so asking for more than what I’m given is not a natural process. I showed up to my first set in a black dress and flats. There was no way I could use the walkie and I was so overwhelmed that I slipped and cut open my knee while trying to load catering. Things have drastically improved since then. It has been a steep learning curve but I have valued the highs and the lows. I consider Raksha my first producing experience that really helped me grow. I was the Producer, Line Producer, Co-Writer and also the Post Supervisor. It was a lot of work but I can {produce shorts with my eyes closed now, an extremely valuable skill to have!

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How was childhood like? Any stories from childhood that you would want to share?
My childhood was pretty regimented. My parents struggled a lot with me because I did poorly in school, didn’t have a lot of friends and always preferred watching WWF than cleaning my room. I think my most memorable moment from childhood was when I watched the movie Children of Heaven and realized I wanted to make something that would make people feel the way that I felt about that movie.

Tell us about your upcoming projects.

I’m currently working on the following projects:
Belonging (Creator): A single camera dramedy about an Indian immigrant who comes to Harvard in hopes of reuniting with her step-sister but must venture out to find her tribe when she finds that her stepsister has become too American for her liking.
Untitled (Co-Writer): At 27, Sara Chatterjee still lives with her parents, works odd jobs to make ends meet and pursues passionate affairs with women in private. Her double life works seamlessly until she’s busted by her parents and cut off completely – forcing Sara to get a job, an apartment and confront her truth all at once. Household Heroes (Director, Producer): A documentary that explores the economic value of unpaid work done by homemakers across the globe.

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What is a normal day for you?
A lot of emails, writing and reaching out to people to produce the endless projects I’m working on. My days and times off usually involve me cooking or exercising.

What is your favorite destination for traveling and why?
My favorite destination for traveling is most places in Asia. The food is probably the biggest draw.

What is the message for today’s women?
Know your worth and fight to protect it.

What do you think is your personal strength to be able to achieve so much?
My parents worked very hard to make things easy for me, The least I can do is pass that on to the next generation. Watching them succeed despite the odds gives me my daily motivation.

Your personal favorite line for motivation
Teamwork Makes the Dream Work.

Some words for your fans.
Put your head down and do the work.

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