Shripriya Dalmia Thirani: Brain and soul behind ‘Nanu Productions’, which is two movies young

What would you expect the sscion of hte exalted Dalmia family to do? She is already charting a trailblazing path to sucess. But through which beaten path he has traversed to reacch the pinnacle of success? Instead of following the footsteps of her grandfather, the Late Jai Dayal Dalmia, the co-founder of Dalmiya Cement, set up as early as 1935 and OCL India, established in 1949, and the rest of her illustrious business family, she has chosen to embrance the creative field. She is the brain and soul behind ‘Nanu Productions, the successful movie production house, which is already two films young! She is Shripriya Dalmia for you. At an young age of 34, Shripriya did not want to be a ‘me too’ character. So, she set her own course, went on to set up film production house, and managed to produce two movies in quick succession. She holds a BBA from University of Bradford, and an MBA from Sybiosis, Pune.
In a freewheeling chat with Jayashankar Menon, Shripriya opens up her mind to say why chose a different path, instead of following the family business.
JM: Why did you choose an altogether different profession of film production, when you have a cosy and comfortable family business?
SD: I have always been a bit of a rebel in my family and that is why I knew, I needed to make a mark for myself. Luckily for me, my artistic talents in singing, dancing, acting and desgning beackoned me to try out something no one in the family had ventured into before. That is how Nanu Productions was born.
JM: Can you talk about your film projects:
SM: My first project was a docu-drama on the ‘Kul Devo’ of the Dalmia family. The movie, titled ‘Nanu Dadi’, traced back the family-tree to the very first Dalmia, back in the 1800s, and spoke about the history and reasons why the family reveres their Kul Devi. It was a way to bring the pride of our past to our future generations. I also played the lead character in the film. My next project is the soon to be released Bollywood film called ‘Vande Jaataram’. The movie deals with the burning issue of honour killings in the country.
It was a story that had to be told. Despite everything that the modern Indian woman has achieved, even today, there exist repressive customs and traditions like honour killing that make us hang our heads in shame. ‘Vande Jaataram’ is the story of two young people from different backgrounds (jaat) who are brutally murdered by their own family in the name of protecting their honour. Their crime? Falling in love.
Despite coming from an orthodox background myself, I have had a love marriage. I can’t even explain how difficult it was for me as a woman to get the blessings of my parents, and to make it ‘arranged’ for myself. But thousands of young women are so much worse off. In fact, even to imagine that a fate like ‘honour killing’ could befall someone simply because she fell in love is unthinkable to me. Understandably passionate about the subject, I have made an honest attempt to encourage a discussion on it through my film, perhaps even find a solution for it someday. I even decided to have new faces in the lead because having a famous actor might as well distract the audience from the core subject we are addressing.
‘Vande Jaataram’ is expected to be released soon. I have high expectations from the film, and also from my career as a film producer. Naturally, I am equally excited for the new projects in the pipeline. In fact, the audience will also see me acting and singing in many of them.
Needless to say, with such great lineage and infectious passion, the sky is the limit for Shripriya Dalmia Thirani. This is one film producer to watch out for.


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