Lights, Camera, Collaboration: The Filmmaker Bridging Nollywood And Bollywood

Published 25 days ago
Hamisha Ahuja (third from left) on location for Postcards; image supplied
Hamisha Ahuja (third from left) on location for Postcards; photo by Temiloluwa Ojo

Hamisha Daryani Ahuja’s Postcards on Netflix is centered around real-life stories without pitting both cultures against the other.

“This is something that had not been done, and I had always wondered why.”

Hamisha Daryani Ahuja’s path took her through the realm of business ownership before she made her mark in the world of cinema, thus fulfilling a childhood dream.

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“I actually grew up dreaming of the film industry,” Ahuja reminisces in a conversation with FORBES AFRICA from the heart of Lagos, Nigeria, reflecting on her early aspirations. “It was something I felt I needed to do.”

Her entrepreneurial spirit led her to establish and run a successful restaurant business in Lagos for seven years. But she eventually sold it. “..and that left me very free to pursue my dreams wholeheartedly,” she explains.

Ahuja’s debut film production, Namaste Wahala, marked a moment in cinematic history as it brought together the colorful worlds of Bollywood and Nollywood in a way that had never been done before.

“I had the idea of bringing Bollywood and Nollywood together,” Ahuja shares. “This is something that had not been done, and I had always wondered why.”

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Hamisha Ahuja; photo by Akinlabi Akinbulumo

Despite her lack of formal educational experience in filmmaking, Ahuja’s hands-on approach and business acumen, honed through years of entrepreneurship, equipped her to navigate the challenges of the film industry seamlessly.

“The major challenge was learning… day one on the set was day one for me in the film industry,” she reveals. “But what I was able to learn… has really helped me grow.”

Ahuja’s latest project, the Postcards series, further showcases her commitment to storytelling that transcends cultural boundaries.

“With Postcards, I had Nollywood go to India for the first time… centered around real-life stories without pitting both cultures against the other,” she explains.

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Through her work, Ahuja aims to contribute to the evolving landscape of gender representation in both industries, recognizing the pivotal role of women in creative leadership.

“I think Nollywood has moved really far… a lot of the stakeholders are women,” she notes. “We just need to put out more content from the women’s perspective.”

As Ahuja prepares for the global release of Postcards on Netflix, she emphasizes the importance of balancing creativity with commercial viability, ensuring that stories resonate with diverse audiences.

“If you are completely creative and don’t think about the business side of things, it may be harder to see the commercial side,” she advises.

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For aspiring creative entrepreneurs, Ahuja offers a message: “Just do it… dream big. Be practical. If you have a day job or income from somewhere else, don’t necessarily quit that job. Back it up with action, education and learning.”