It’s not surprising that Namrata got into filmmaking given her upbringing. “My uncle owned a production house, and there were a lot of shoots that used to go on around me,” she recalls. When she saw a film production in action, Namrata was captivated, saying, “I was like ‘oh my God, there’s a whole crew here to shoot this one-minute scene that’s going to be in this film... and every person is important to making that one-minute scene work!’” She grew up watching Bollywood movies, and later found a love for thrillers like the kind made by Alfred Hitchcock.
In college, Namrata really got to explore her love for cinema, double majoring in film and economics while making ample use of her school’s equipment to shoot projects. Instead of an economics thesis, she opted to write two screenplays: a drama based in India that incorporated LGBTQ themes, and a gory, futuristic sci-fi thriller. Before she graduated, Namrata got a grant to travel to another country and film a documentary, saying, “I literally took a crew of 3 people with me and we went to Belize and we partnered with an NGO [non-governmental organization] there to talk about sustainable tourism.”
It was a project that took a lot of planning Namrata wasn’t used to, like researching subjects, organizing flights, and booking schedules while accounting for time differences. She had to improvise to find good lighting and sound recording conditions. But Namrata had a fulfilling experience, finding that documentary was the perfect mix of scripted work and capturing candid moments for her. She still has to finish editing the final product, but she hopes to release her documentary this year.