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She eats films, drinks films, watches films and fortunately even works for them. That's the best way to describe this filmy girl whose profession and regular life is always surronded by cinema.

chandigarh Updated: Feb 26, 2014 10:14 IST
Navleen Kaur Lakhi
Navleen Kaur Lakhi
Hindustan Times

Jyotika Badyal, 28, Casting Director, Jammu


Facebook Friends: 1065

Home is in: Mohali

School/college I attended: Being an army kid I studied at various schools. I went to Governement College Panchkula followed by a film appreciation course from FTII Pune

Casting direction happened…

In 2013 when I was working for an NGO, an actor friend asked if I can help in casting of kids for a friend's film that was supposed to be shot in Chandigarh. I ended up casting the entire cast. I am a film enthusiast and studying films is my passion so it came naturally to me and I enjoyed the whole process.

First project:

My first project was 'Bhujung' a production of CFSI (Children Film Society of India) directed by Mohinder Pratap Singh which is yet to be released

Claim to fame:
I cannot claim for any fame as of now as all the films that I have worked on are slated to release this year but I do feel happy about the fact that in a short span of one year I have done casting of five films and one TV commercial single handedly without any team.

Your discoveries as a casting director who have played prominent roles:
In my very first film a kid who played the antagonist Sidhant Gupta is a boy to watch out for who gave terrific performance. I even discovered Daakshita Kumaria who played the lead role in 'Oh My Pyoh' opposite Binu Dhillon and Shivani Sharma both of them are doing lead roles in an under production punjabi film

Best part about being a casting director:
Besides being a creative mental exercise it gives me satisfaction that I've become a reason of someone's earning. A good film according to me is about the right script and right cast. I love discovering the characters in the actors and you bring the characters alive with the right cast.

The cause you care for:
I strongly feel that every child deserves a good education and life. It doesn't matter in what background, class, community, region he's born into. Adoption is one way we can ensure it. If your financial condition doesn't allow you to adopt a child for life then you can atleast support his schooling or pay for his hobby class.

With just six months left to live, I would:
Try to remain sane and go the gypsy way. Since I have always lived my life gypsy way as after my birth I have stayed at various cities such as Jammu, Aurangabad, Nasik, Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Pathankot, Ganganagar etc.

My present state of mind: Peaceful and positive

My motto: Don't just dream start breathing your dream and it'll happen!

My secret indulgence: Trekking on himalayas

Pet peeve: I can't stand people who talk on phone or comment unnecessarily during a movie. People who are constantly fiddling with their mobile phones and sending texts or chatting.

My hero in real life: I learn everyday different things from different people..

Beer or wine: Wine

If you wake up one day and realize you've turned into a man, you would.. I'll start using men's room I guess!! rest nothing will change..

My biggest adddiction: Cinema, music & literature

Suggestion for budding casting directors: Haven't worked enough to give suggestions but can share what I have learned so far if someone is interested.

Can't do without: Nothing

I appreciate most about my friends: That they take me as I am

About her:

She eats films, drinks films, watches films and fortunately even works for them. That's the best way to describe this filmy girl whose profession and regular life is always surronded by cinema. Though she had grown on a diet of films but her inclination got even deeper when she started working as an administrator head at Anupam Kher's Actor's Prepare, Chandigarh from 2007 to 2011. In 2011 when she worked with Yuvsatta NGO for an year, she simultaneously did her film appreciation course from FTII, Pune. Since 2013 Jyotika working as a casting director for two Bollywood films such as Bhujung and Titoo MBA, three Punjabi films such as Yaaran Da Katchup, Rajeev Sharma's 47 to 84, Zorawar featuring Honey Singh which is currently under production and a TVC of Mahindra Tractors. She satisfies her creative juices by being a complete movie buff by watching and collecting films of different languages such as Iranian, French, Russian, Bengali, Marathi etc. Her collection of these films which is around 1000 also includes Hindi films made between 1938 to 1950.

First Published: Feb 26, 2014 10:04 IST