Young director behind the camera

Young director behind the camera

Calling shots

Young director behind the camera

The two things that troubled 15-year-old Shriya Dinakar were issues relating to global warming and the pressure that parents put on their children during examinations.

Wanting to tell the world about these, Shriya took incidents from her own life and decided to make a full-length feature film about it. The result of which is Billion Dollar Baby, a message-oriented movie that stars actors like Suresh Heblikar and Shiva Dwaj.

This talented girl says that though her aim in life is to become an astronaut, she feels the medium of cinema is the best way to communicate to the masses.

“Every time the results are out, many children take drastic steps because of failure. One of the main reasons for this is the pressure put on them by their parents. Parents should understand that each child has a goal of his or her own and it is only a matter of time before children achieve it in their own way,” says Shriya.  The film revolves around two girls studying in the same school who have different outlook on life. But it is the revolutionary change brought out by one of the girls that brings in a twist to the story. “Though there are children in the film, it is not a children’s movie. I hope the film will reach a wider audience as it also talks about bigger issues like global warming and the scope of exploring alternative planets for living,” says Shriya, who has been influenced and inspired by former president A P J Abdul Kalam.

In fact, the name of the film too has been coined by him, “He named it after the the e-paper run by him, which is called Billion Beats,” she adds. Directing a feature film was challenging for Shriya, whose experience with the camera has been only through the documentary, My Life So Far, which she shot when she was in the sixth standard.
Though she did learn a lot by watching many movies and serials, she says, “Initially when we had written the script, we had many directors in mind but nobody fit the bill. That’s when I took it up as a challenge.” 

Apart from directing, Shriya is also acting in the film, which she says was easier, “That’s because I play myself in the film.” Ask her about the comparisons with Master Kishan and she says, “He and I have shared many stages together and he is like a younger brother to me.”

So will this new director take this up as a career option? “Not really, my main aim was to spread a message but my bigger goal is to work towards becoming an astronaut,” she signs off.