When we met Nidhi Purohit for the first time she was a novice filmmaker trying to navigate her way in the Gujarati film industry. The year was 2014 and she was working on her first film 'I Wish' as a writer and director. The energy in the young team in their makeshift office was palpable.
Cut to June 2023, when she finally released the film after nine years of waiting. We sat with Nidhi, 33, to know what made her release the film this month when it was shot in 2016.
"When I started I was young and disoriented as an artiste. Also, I was newly married. I was still finding my way," Nidhi said candidly. "Eventually, there were creative differences between the team and therefore it got delayed. I guess, the film industry was also not ready to have a female writer-director making a film with a female protagonist."
Her film 'I Wish' is the story of Isha and Vismay, who are in love, and their struggle after moving in together. They embark on separate paths of self-discovery to save their love. A musical journey unfolds, filled with hope and uncertainty. Will they find a way back to each other? That's the crux of the 'I Wish' story.
Nidhi came from a small coastal town in Saurashtra called Veraval with no background in films. "My past experience was traumatic and therefore I chose to be an independent filmmaker," she said. "I will only get a producer on board when I'm sure I can make the film a box-office success."
Continuing with her story, Nidhi said: "To make films you need money and therefore, I took up a corporate job in an MNC in Mumbai. I was the vice- president of their multi-media department. I did it purely for money to fund my films. Whatever I saved -- Rs 15-20 lakh -- I put into producing films."
Nidhi has also worked with a Gujarati entertainment magazine as an editor. And she was associated with a celebrity chat show on a news channels as creative director and writer.
She added: "I worked for two years and half to fund my passion. I always knew I wanted to do something around stories and I'm happy that I'm finally doing it. You can't even imagine the joy of a person whose film is released after nine years of being in the process. The movie is equally relevant now, it doesn't look dated, and that's a win for us."
Nidhi is now in the Gir doing a recce for an upcoming film project. Also, she has two independent web series in English all set to release. "I trust the process and the Almighty. I finally left my corporate job to be a full-time independent filmmaker. The universe always says: 'Your wish, my command'. Isn't that so?"