BAFTA Award Winner Jigyasa Taneja Sethi credits filmmakers like Farhan Akhtar, Homi Adjania and Zoya Akhtar for inspiring her to do independent cinema.

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“I started my film journey at a very early age with a chocolate bar commercial! That was the moment I realised that I was made for cinema, and fell in love with every aspect of that world,” says Jigyasa.

Jigyasa, who has been an assistant director for films such as Don, Being Cyrus, etc and a creative director for various web and TV projects along with being a consultant to many Hollywood filmmakers.

Her motto is to create cinema that would make a change, spread awareness and reach hearts of billions across the globe. She has successfully managed to use her cultural Indian background along with her educational USA background to create path-breaking, cross-cultural content.

Having gotten that motivation from Farhan Akhtar during her Don shoot days she says, “Coming from a non-filmy background, I’ve had my own fair share of roadblocks. But working alongside and watching filmmakers like Farhan Akhtar and Zoya Akhtar – I felt like developing my own unique voice to tell authentic stories that would make a difference.”

Her debut film, as an independent writer-director won her a BAFTA award and Regional Oscar nomination in 2004.

This #WorldSuicidePreventionWeek she also spoke about her short film Pari and Pinnochio, that has crossed over 1 lakh views on YouTube! “This journey has been the most fulfilling experience – Pari and Pinocchio, a film surrounding teenage mental health issues – won me the Dadasaheb Phalke Award.”

Jigyasa is currently working with creators such as Viacom, Culture Machine, Star and is a consultant to independent filmmakers too.

Recently, as the world has been struggling to get back to normal, Jigyasa’s own venture – Jam Arts has been flourishing. “I want to create a supportive environment for new talent, I want to educate parents on the industry and I want to build awareness for arts and media.”

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She is the founder of Jam Arts; a collective of International and award-winning facilitators – who aim to nurture talent and hone skills through international programs in theatre, writing and film for various age groups.

She wants to empower others to follow their dreams as well! She believes that ‘Along this unconventional journey of being a creator one can face doubts and rejections but the point is to keep learning and keep expressing because the industry is very dynamic and authentic stories and talent will always be in demand.’

Currently collaborating with writers across the globe for her unique programs. She ends by saying, “I can empathise with kids and youngsters trying to follow their passion and feel that Jam Arts can help them immensely.”