Don’t be fooled by her tender age. An accomplished film producer, Guneet Monga has worked in various international films since the start of her career a few years ago. While still in her second year of college, she started working with Gauhar Raza and Shabnam Hashmi in their NGO, Anhad.
“I edited a documentary for them titled In defense of our dreams, that was based against communalism, and it got selected for the New York Hot Curry film festival,” she says. Since then, there was no looking back.
She went on to do Valley of Flowers with Naseeruddin Shah, Milind Soman and Mylene Jampanoi as the cast, where she worked with director Pan Nalin as an assistant production coordinator.
Two Canadian films Partition and Murder Unveiled — A Love Story followed soon, were Guneet got to work with Canadian filmmaker Vic Sarin, as the India Coordinator. “Those two years were the steepest in my learning curve,” she says. “All this happened after I met Harish Amin on the sets of Partition. He went out of his way to help me, and soon we started a production house called Speaking Tree Films.”
They already have two feature films in the pipeline, Magic Loom Girl and CP. But where did it all start? “I started work even before she was 16,” she explains. “Nothing fancy, but I was doing a lot of shows as an anchor.” The first show happened accidentally, when the anchor of a show she was at, went missing.
She volunteered to give it a shot, and lo! She was a hit! Offers started pouring in and she took up a few at a time. Before she knew it, she was doing numerous road shows, anchoring shows and doing voice-overs for serials on Doordarshan. “I am such an active person, that you will never see me sit idle.
I took taekwondo, swimming and bharatnatyam lessons while I was studying. Later, there were times when I went to people begging for work that I was willing to do for free,” she proudly reminisces. I give my 100 per cent to whatever I do. I know my hard work is being noticed.
Name: Guneet Monga
Educational background: Graduated in Mass Communication from IP University, New Delhi.
Inspiration: I’d have to say Harish Amin. He is so senior, yet so down to earth. He would even bend backwards for a first time filmmaker.
Guneetspeak: I usually do the best I can, and leave the rest to God. Teething
Problems: Some of my extended family created unnecessary noise about the choice of my profession as they had their own views on the film industry. Finally, I was able to convince them that it is no different from any other profession, and anyone who is hardworking and sorted out, is welcome here.
Advice: Just be honest and be sincere to your work. Don’t do things just for the sake of doing them. Always remember that hard work does not go unnoticed. You will surely be rewarded for it, this way or that.