Jasmeet K. Reen's debut film 'Darlings' has garnered critical acclaim and a devoted audience, marking her as an overnight success after two decades of hard work. A dark comedy, 'Darlings' is co-written and directed by Jasmeet K. Reen. At the 14th Indian Film Festival of Melbourne (IFFM) in Melbourne, we sat down with Jasmeet to learn more about her remarkable journey.
Unconventional Beginnings Jasmeet's path to filmmaking was far from conventional. While studying commerce in college, she was an avid reader and film enthusiast. Initially pursuing a career in Chartered Accountancy, she excelled but found no joy in it. Her journey then led her to explore advertising, where she worked with Ogilvy & McCann Erickson and developed a fondness for the industry.
The Transition to Filmmaking Yet, Jasmeet yearned for something more. Her journey took an unexpected turn as she began assisting in advertising and feature films. To further hone her skills, she pursued a course at FTI, Pune, before entering the Hindi Film Industry. With no industry connections, she had to carve her own path.
The Love for Writing Jasmeet's love for writing paved her way into the world of cinema. She spent years writing scripts and assisting on various projects, honing her storytelling craft. She acknowledges the significance of being a writer, as it gives filmmakers a clearer perspective.
'Darlings' - A Journey of Empathy Before 'Darlings,' Jasmeet was working on a love story script that was taking its time. She decided to embark on another project, 'Darlings.' Given the sensitive subject matter, she spent six to eight months casually conversing with women to understand the intricacies of abusive marriages. This research became the foundation for 'Darlings.'
The Red Chillies Connection Jasmeet's association with Red Chillies led her to present the 'Darlings' script to them. Impressed, they approached Alia Bhatt to star in. Alia also decided to produce the film. With a great team and dedicated actors, 'Darlings' came to life.
Learning on the Job Jasmeet's film school experience was primarily theoretical, so she learned the practical aspects of filmmaking on the job. Her self-taught approach involved watching numerous films, reading scripts, understanding editing, and honing her writing skills.
Life Post-'Darlings' The success of 'Darlings' has opened doors for Jasmeet. She's now reading various scripts, meeting industry professionals, and exploring collaborations. As a writer-director, she's keen to share more stories she deeply believes in.
Embracing Opportunities Jasmeet is excited about the possibilities and welcomes the chance to work with talented teams. She acknowledges the importance of a dedicated crew and the joy she finds in the entire filmmaking process.
Jasmeet K. Reen's remarkable journey is a testament to passion, hard work, and a commitment to storytelling. As she embarks on her filmmaking career, her dedication to creating meaningful narratives is evident, promising more cinematic gems in the future.
By Tonee Sethi