when I got the idea of Badhai ho Beti Huee Hai and I realised that I had to tell this story yamini swami
Yamini Swami is the kind of person youwish ll movie stars were like. unassuming and friendly and at the same time, she is frank, opinionated and straightforward about the things she believes in. And that’s why she chose the subject of women empowerment in her debut film “Badhai ho Beti Huee” Hai. Yamini who has written, produced, directed, acted and composed for the film talks to journey
about herself to Mr.Chakravarthy manapati editor The South 9 media her journey and how she wants to break the myth of how a birth of a girl is a burden on the family.
Did you always aspire to be an actor and a filmmaker?
I grew up in a traditional and conservative family where like any other Indian family, importance was given towards education, Watching television and films was not encouraged but I have always been a movie buff. I used to take permission from my parents and watch a lot of films and television series. I finished my studies with a degree in Mass Communication. I always wanted to do something in the entertainment industry, it was around two years when I got the idea of Badhai ho Beti Huee Hai and I realised that I had to tell this story.
While you do not have any Godfather in the industry who has been your inspiration?
Ekta Kapoor has been my biggest inspiration she started from a small garage and has gone to become a soap Opera Queen which is a huge thing in this male-dominated industry. I would go up to my father and tell him that one day I also want to be a successful filmmaker. One television show that inspired me a lot was Jassi Jaissi Koi Nahin, I would leave everything aside to watch it. I was fascinated by the story because they showed that despite all odds, a girl decided to pursue her dreams and came out successful. That character was like a role model.
How did Fim Badhai Ho Beti Huee Hai happen?
I have a penchant for writing. I write poems and fiction and nonfiction stories. Around two years back, I had written a poem which is now the title song of the film-‘kya hua Agar beta na, hua beti Hui’ I showed it to to my father who passed it to many of his friend and everyone was really touched by the composition. It takes us through the journey from being born has a female and her journey till she dies. Someone suggested my father that there is a lot going on in the society against women and we should should make a film on women empowerment, Birth of a girl is not celebrated even today I find it shocking that, In the 21st century female infanticide exist and yet we carry on with our lives as if everything is normal, We need to create an awareness in society of zero tolerance for female infanticide. People don’t directly show it but everyone wants a male child, That’s when I decided to start writing the film.
How was the writing and shooting process like?
The concept was already locked and then it took me three months to write the script. Apart from that, I did improvise a lot and we made the necessary changes to the script whenever it was needed. We went on floor in August 2019. I still remember the mahurat shot. we were shooting in Ranchi and I was nervous as I had to be in front and even behind the camera at the same time, but everything went well. My first shot was with
Jaya Pradaji and Amar Singhji, Once we did the shot they both complimented me and that give me a lot of confidence. We shot the film in around seven months in around 4 schedules in Ranchi and Mumbai, In fact, the interesting part is that our last day of the shoot coincided with our Prime Minister Narendra Modi announcing the lockdown. Thankfully, we had completed the film. and ready for release in may 2021
You are the writer, producer, director, actor and even the lyricist on the film. How difficult was it to juggle between these roles?
I always aspired to be a director and not an actor, I never assumed to be in front of the camera. When we locked the story and that is when we started looking for a fresh face. Many of my friend and family read the script and they suggested that I should play the female lead because I knew the concept and it was my story and they felt that I would be able to justify the character well, I think I was destined to become an actor but honestly, it was not easy and was challenging to take up so much work there were days where I would be completely exhausted but I never decided to give up. My biggest validation came when we decided to screen the film for certification to the Central Board of Film Certification where all the people on the panel especially female member lauded my work, I realized my hard work has paid off.
We have seen many documentaries in the past which is made about saving the girl child. How is your film going to be different?
Badhai ho Beti Huee Hai is different because it conveys the message of how women are important to society in an entertaining way. I am not going to bore the audience by just preaching them. What I have tried to say with the film is that if a family is treating their daughter as a princess, the daughter-in-law should also be treated in the same way. During the making of the film I came across many educated people who felt that in today’s time a girl was no longer a burden on the family, They were not wrong but maybe they were not aware that it still happens in a lot of village and smaller towns in our country. I want to educate them and all other people
What is the message that you want to give with the film?
We have not tried to highlights the plight of how being a woman is a burden to the family. What I have shown in the film is that even though things aren’t going her way, She proved herself right and stood up in society. In this entire process, She earns the respect from her family who at one point was not ready to accept her. Even today an educated girl face hardship at her work place to get promoted and work in a male-dominated industry, I have tried to show that every step makes a difference when you believe in something strongly and do your bit. It might not show immediately but the reason to create a ripple and an impact. The whole idea is to tell the women in our society is to never give up and keep believing in themselves.
What do you have to say about the position of women in our society?
I think we have a long way to go before every woman in the country feels empowered. But I do think that with each passing day,
some women are discovering their own power, so women’s empowerment is not just a national issue,
first it is a personal issue then a regional issue then a national issue, and then a Universal one.
But, most importantly, I think it must start being a personal issue to discover our own power,
so that society should also accept women’s empowerment easily.
Badhai Ho Beti Huee Hai is going to be a path-breaking film where many wrong notions of being a woman are going to be broken.
what is the most important message you want to send out to young woman?
The only person who can truly stand in your way is you. There will be blockers, stereotypes, difficulties, but don’t let anything stop you. Fuel your own ambition,
be yourself not who other people want you to be. You are unique and we’ll always have a different perspective to bring to the table. Foster relationship,
learn from other, and all, help others on your journey because if you fall or stumble,they will likely help to pick you up and dust you off.