August 19, 2017

Gaya to Walt Disney – Anuradha’s Hard Earned Success

Hailing from a small town called Gaya (Bihar, India) Anuradha Singh’s journey from ‘Mission Kashmir’ to ‘India’s Daughter’can well be a source of inspiration for everyone. An internationally acclaimed independent editor / documentary film maker, Anuradha has worked in over 30 feature films, documentaries and short films in Hindi and English. She has worked with several big banners and international production houses like Walt Disney Pictures, DreamWorks, BBC Storyville series, and has won prestigious awards conferred by NBC and UNICEF. Academy award winning film, ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ and ‘India’s Daughter’ (BBC documentary based on the gang rape of a young girl in India that caused global outrage) are only some of the brilliant projects she has worked on. Chittagong and Youngistan are some of her recent Bollywood (Hindi) movies.

Anuradha wanted to be a doctor, however, the blood and pain associated with the profession was something which she was unable withstand. One day, she went to see a workshop on mass communication and fell in love with the profession. Not only did she enroll herself for an editing course, but also scored the highest in editing. Seeing her passion for editing, one of her professors, Prof. Makkar from ‘The Hindu’ asked her to go to Mumbai and work with Renu Saluja, one of the finest editors of her time, or do an editing course from the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII).

Anuradha says, “When I met Renu ji, she already had lot of assistants, so she couldn’t accommodate me. But later, I got a job as an assistant director in a film in which Renu ji was the editor. I took up the opportunity so that I could learn as much as I could by simply observing her at work, just the way Eklavya learnt from Dronocharya by merely watching him. It was my way of learning the art before joining the film school,” recalls Anuradha. She then went on to do a 4-year course in FTII, Pune. ‘I always believed that “Formal education cannot be replaced.” My faculty and teachers were very supportive and I am really grateful to them for imparting a great deal of knowledge to me,” she adds.

When asked if she faced any difficulties as she hailed from a small town, Anuradha says, “Coming from a small village, I certainly faced many issues. But my parents and my grandmother stood by me, and gave me the best of everything, including the liberty to pursue my dream. In Mumbai, I had to go through lot of rejection because of the background I came from. Gradually, my patience and perseverance paid off, and I was able to turn those negative remarks into appreciation. I am an optimist and I don’t take ‘NO’ for an answer. This attitude has immensely contributed to my success.”

Anuradha has worked with both Hollywood and Bollywood projects. The difference between the two, she says, is basically in the attitude towards work. “In the West, professionalism and talent is respected and valued irrespective of the background you come from,” she concludes.

As narrated to Editor NewsnViews

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