Kalkata native, Shailja Gupta set her dreams early on in life with the goal of making her own films. After attending the New York Film Academy‘s film school in 2009, Shailja set out to do just that. Initially, she became involved in the international marketing of films such as Chokher Bali and Ra.One. As good as that sounds, Shailja still wasn’t creating her own films. That’s why she switched gears to work on her feature debut, Walkaway, a light-comedy drama that mocks the clutches of social obligations on young Indian professionals settled in New York City.
Like many first time filmmakers, Shailja had trouble finding the right distributors to pick up her film. So, she took matters into her own hands. “I had hoped to release it theatrically but after chasing the distributors for a year, I got tired and gave up. I was hoping to show it on television but with such competition it’s difficult to get people to watch the film. I hope through word-of-mouth something good comes out of it.”
“It’s exciting. Sure, I do feel overwhelmed when I take on more work sometimes and have to run against time to deliver. But once I complete the work the feeling of achievement is quite satisfactory.”
Indeed, Shailja should feel excited and proud of her accomplishment. Her film, Walkaway, has received some rather kind words from the press:
- “More earnest and insightful than Sex and the City.” – NY Magazine
- “A little Bollywood, a lot American Indie.” – NY Times
- “Filmmaker Shailja Gupta has a sure hand and eye.” – Newsweek