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Daughters of B-Town filmmakers are following in their fathers' footsteps

From hanging around on movie sets to penning scripts and giving their opinion, daughters of B-Town film folk are learning the ropes of filmmaking

Filmmaker Vikram Bhatt always bounces off his story ideas and scripts to his daughter Krishna first. Through the youngster’s facial expressions, he gets an instant reaction. He knows exactly what she thinks of the idea.

Krishna with her father Vikram Bhatt. Pic/Yogen Shah
Krishna with her father Vikram Bhatt. Pic/Yogen Shah

Krishna, who is 19, gives her verdict there and then. She is one of the Assistant Directors (ADs) in his upcoming film, Creature 3D as well as in his next project, Mr X. “As she tells me, she is finally getting some credit as an assistant,” points out Vikram.

Vikram Bhatt’s daughter Krishna did a cameo in his 2012 film Dangerous Ishhq in which she essayed a Mughal girl. Krishna was also seen as a pianist in her father’s 2011 horror film Haunted 3D. She threatens her dad not to tell anyone of her blink-and-miss roles!
Vikram Bhatt’s daughter Krishna did a cameo in his 2012 film Dangerous Ishhq in which she essayed a Mughal girl. Krishna was also seen as a pianist in her father’s 2011 horror film Haunted 3D. She threatens her dad not to tell anyone of her blink-and-miss roles!

Several B-Town film folks’ young daughters are taking a keen interest in the behind-the-camera happenings of their father’s productions or trying to venture out on their own. Anil Kapoor’s daughter Rhea did it a while back.

She made her debut as a producer in 2010 with Aisha and is now ready with her second film Khoobsurat, starring sister Sonam Kapoor. Jackie Shroff’s daughter Krishna, too, wants to be a film producer and director.

Imtiaz Ali’s 13-year-old daughter, Ida, often accompanies her father to his film shoots. Along with her buddy Aaliyah Kashyap (filmmaker Anurag Kashyap’s daughter), the duo was recently in the French island of Corsica where Imtiaz is filming his Ranbir Kapoor-Deepika Padukone starrer Tamasha.

From left: Ida with father Imtiaz Ali, actors Deeksha Seth, Ranbir Kapoor, Armaan Jain and her uncle, director Arif Ali, at an event for his film Lekar Hum Deewana Dil
From left: Ida with father Imtiaz Ali, actors Deeksha Seth, Ranbir Kapoor, Armaan Jain and her uncle, director Arif Ali, at an event for his film Lekar Hum Deewana Dil

Aaliyah (extreme right) with her father Anurag Kashyap at the Cannes film festival last year. From left are filmmakers Karan Johar, Zoya Akhtar, Dibakar Banerjee and Ashi Dua
Aaliyah (extreme right) with her father Anurag Kashyap at the Cannes film festival last year. From left are filmmakers Karan Johar, Zoya Akhtar, Dibakar Banerjee and Ashi Dua

The two girls hung out with the unit folk. Ranbir apparently is fond of them and chats a lot with them on subjects as diverse as soccer, school and movies.

Chosen path
Unlike her actor brother, Tiger, Jackie Shroff’s daughter Krishna made it clear that she wants to get into film production and, eventually, direction. Says Jackie, “That’s her choice for now. I do not influence her thinking.

Krishna with her father Jackie Shroff. Pic/Yogen Shah
Krishna with her father Jackie Shroff. Pic/Yogen Shah

She has already taken the first step by producing a documentary on the transgender community.” Also, Mahesh Bhatt’s daughter Shaheen is not keen to follow in her sister Alia’s footsteps and wants to be a writer-director.

Says Mahesh Bhatt, “Shaheen is a multi-faceted person. She wants to write and direct. She’s a good singer, too.” Shaheen collaborated with her uncle, writer Robin Bhatt, for the 2012 film Son of Sardaar. She is also writing for her mother Soni Razdan’s directorial venture as well as for Vikram Bhatt’s next film, Love Games.

Shaheen (centre) with her mother Soni Razdan (left) and father Mahesh Bhatt (right). Shaheen is interested in writing and direction while her father says she is a good singer, too
Shaheen (centre) with her mother Soni Razdan (left) and father Mahesh Bhatt (right). Shaheen is interested in writing and direction while her father says she is a good singer, too

Starting young
Any talk of being too young to learn the hows and whys of Bollywood is quickly brushed aside. As Jackie puts it, “They grow up fast. If we say that they are still young, then there are others who are starting out and are even younger.”

Aaliyah Kashyap (left) and Ida Ali (centre) with Imtiaz Ali and Ranbir Kapoor in Corsica recently
Aaliyah Kashyap (left) and Ida Ali (centre) with Imtiaz Ali and Ranbir Kapoor in Corsica recently

Vikram Bhatt was 14 when he started with Mukul Anand’s Kanoon Kya Karega in 1984. Krishna followed suit at 16 with his 2011 film Haunted 3D in which she also did a cameo as a pianist - Krishna has been learning how to play the piano for years.

When she was 11, Vikram Bhatt dedicated his autobiographical film Ankahee to her. Krishna started off by sitting in for story sessions and hanging around the sets. She also used to accompany her dad to events.

Independent mind
Vikram describes Krishna as an independent girl with a mind of her own. She has also done a cameo in his 2012 film Dangerous Ishhq and threatens her dad not to tell anyone about her miss-and-blink roles.

It is this independent thought process that has made the other Bhatt Shaheen step behind the camera. “Shaheen has a way with words. She knows how to use visual images effectively,” says her father. While Jackie maintains that Krishna is an extremely independent girl, knows what she wants and how to get it.

Jackie’s daughter Krishna elaborates, “I prefer working closely with a film’s production team because by being there from start to finish you get to see the entire team’s effort unfolding into something amazing.

Currently, I am a part of the production team of a feature length documentary titled Black Sheep and it has been a great learning experience. We plan to release it by January 2015.”

Lucky mascot
At the launch of the first look of Imtiaz Ali’s Alia Bhatt-Randeep Hooda starrer Highway, his daughter Ida was the emcee. During the event Imtiaz had stated, “It was an auspicious start to have Ida anchor the event.

Imtiaz Ali with his daughter Ida at the trailer launch of his film Highway. Ida was the emcee at the event
Imtiaz Ali with his daughter Ida at the trailer launch of his film Highway. Ida was the emcee at the event

She added a personal touch to the company.” The spunky youngster kept referring to him as “Mr Imtiaz Ali” at the event after all she was the emcee.

Last month, Ida was also spotted at a football match event as part of the promotions of her uncle Arif Ali’s directorial debut, Lekar Hum Deewana Dil. She teamed up with her father and Ranbir Kapoor at the match. “My daughter is my lucky mascot,” sys Vikram Bhatt, who ensures she does a bit role in all his films.

Last year, Anurag Kashyap was keen that his daughter Aaliyah accompany him on the Cannes red carpet when his films Ugly and Bombay Talkies were screened. Ida has even interviewed Imtiaz Ali for a video sharing website.

Seeing him interact with journos, she wanted him to answer personal questions like if he has fallen off a tree during his younger days as he keeps telling her that the biggest joy at her age for him was to climb trees back home in Jamshedpur and Ranchi.

Acting bug
Though Vikram’s daughter Krishna is taking interest in production, he feels she can act too. Says Krishna, “I am keen to be behind the camera, but he tells me I should be in front of it. We keep arguing about it. I love spending time on the sets - it is home to me. My father says you cannot be a good director if you do not know the various aspects of filmmaking.”

While Mahesh Bhatt maintains, “Right now Shaheen is engrossed in writing, but who knows the future? Jackie adds, “The project will have to be really exciting for Krishna to say yes to the role.” As for Ida and Aaliyah who are in school, for the moment, it is just hanging out on the sets that is part of their education.

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