Mac Mohan’s daughter Manjari Makijany: I still meet people who share beautiful stories about him
Manjari Makijany, daughter of actor Mac Mohan, who is fondly remembered as Sambha of Sholay, has a huge legacy to lean on and navigate the world of cinema. But, the writer-filmmaker doesn’t want to get stuck in one region, and that well explains her absence from Bollywood.
“As a filmmaker, I don’t believe I need to be restricted to any one place to tell stories. Stories are universal and I hope to tell stories that transcend borders, cultures and have a universal appeal,” Makijany tells us.
Makijany is working on projects, which reflect her connection with India infused with a touch of universal appeal, such as Skater Girl, which is set in a remote village of Rajasthan.
The director, who has previously worked on Wake Up Sid! (2009) and Saat Khoon Maaf (2011), admits that a film like Skater Girl wouldn’t have been financed if she was still in India.
“It would have been a risky and unconventional decision for many reasons,” she says, and continues, “It’s been a wonderful journey of learning through this past decade — from making short films, to assisting on Hindi films and international productions to being selected as a director to participate in Hollywood studio workshops and labs that give importance to diversity in film.”
Makijany looks at each of these as an “important milestones” along the way. She states that her experiences in India and the US serve as a “fertile ground” to help her find her unique voice as a filmmaker.
Talking about the legacy of her father, she feels it’s honour to carry forward his name.
“We still meet people today that have the most beautiful stories to share about him. The goodwill he has in the industry and outside, doesn’t fail to inspire us, every single day. He taught us values and ethics that stuck with us and he always told us to approach our work with a sense of integrity,” says the filmmaker.
Next, she has directed a coming-of-age teen drama, Spin, with Abhay Deol in lead.
“It was an exciting opportunity to introduce our Indian culture to an American audience through music. I also had the opportunity to work with Marius De Vries (composer Romeo Juliet, Moulin Rouge) and bring on Salim-Sulaiman to do an original song for the film,” says Makijany, adding that the project allows her to bring the best of the two worlds together.