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After her short film Parda made it to the semi-final round of the Student Academy Awards and was screened at the BAFTA-Affiliated Aesthetica Film Festival last year, Kajri, Raj Babbar’s niece and daughter of filmmaker Kishan Babbar, is gearing up to direct her first British feature film titled Burning Bride. Set in the 1940s, the film revolves around a 15-year-old Indian girl who marries a British officer and travels to England. Kajri, who is currently pursuing her Masters in Film Directing at Arts University Bournemouth in UK, has been working on the script for the last three years. “Towards the end of the course, we have to develop a project that you can take into the industry. That’s when I wrote three ideas and reached out to one of the faculty members, Clare Cahill, to learn how to pitch stories. She liked the idea of Burning Bride and called me on my father’s birthday, February 17, seeking for my permission to pitch the story to her co-producers. They loved it and that’s how everything fell in place,” informs Kajri, whose film is expected to roll in a year’s time after scripting, storyboarding, casting and pre-production are done.
“We are thinking of getting in a big British star once the script is complete. I’d also like to have an Indian actress as the female lead and will look into that after the male lead has been cast,” the youngster adds. Will there be special appearances from members of her family? “May be… I think there will be roles for which I could approach Prateik bhaiya, Aarya bhaiya, Juuhi didi (uncle Raj Babbar’s children) and Jiju (actor Anup Sonii). I will also reach out to them for advice on my script,” she says.
Next up, the debutante filmmaker will spend 18 months researching for the film that will be backed by Juuhi, Clare Cahill, filmmaker Jacqui Miller Charlton, and English actor Craig Conway.
“Kajri is the baby of the family and has done us proud. The producers loved the story but they were concerned about shooting in India, so she informed them that her family is a part of the Hindi film industry. So I flew down and now I am collaborating on the film’s India shoot,” Juuhi reveals, adding that 70 per cent of the film will be shot in the UK.