Avantika Hari – Film director of ‘Land Gold Women’ fame
Avantika Hari is an English filmmaker and screenwriter who directs award winning English films. She is best known for her debut English film, ‘Land Gold Women’ in 2011. It was the first English film based on honour killing. She also wrote its screenplay and co-produced the film aside her husband Vivek Agrawal who worked in ad field till then. The film won numerous awards and was screened at various international film festivals. The film bagged National award for best feature film in English in 2010. The film had a theatre release in 2011.
Avantika was born in Mumbai and brought up in Middle East. She is of Tamil origin. At the age of 8, her family shifted to Dubai. For higher education she moved to US and UK. She holds double major in Digital Arts and Economics from Stetson University Florida and also Creative Writing and Filmmaking at Stanford University in California. Her debut film Land Gold Women received best screenplay at the Asian Festival of First Films in 2009. The film had Narinder Samra and Neelam Parmar in lead roles, who played Muslim lovers. In 2009 the film was premiered at the International Film Festival in Goa in the Indian Panorama section.
Avantika Hari – Some interesting facts
1. She is a Tamilian, brought up in Mumbai and Dubai.
2. Both Vivek and Avantika started their professional careers during their academic years, and Vivek was initially associated with ad films before he joined hands with Avantika to produce the first English film.
3. She owned a multimedia consulting firm while studying at California.
4. By casting the lead pair in Land Gold Women both as Muslim characters she broke stereotyping the honour killing as an issue of inter-caste or inter-faith only.
5. Once she happened to know about a real-life incident of honour killing and was deeply moved. It was for the first time she heard about honour killing, she researched on that subject and later came up with a film.
6. More than 600 participants appeared in the audition of the film.
7. Her husband has co-produced a few Bollywood movies since 2010 – Mausam, London Paris New York and Bombay Velvet.