Name to know: Shruti Rya Ganguly Advertisement

Name to know: Shruti Rya Ganguly

She’s tried every detour before arriving at film-making – and working with James Franco

By Sonam Savlani  June 10th, 2014

Shruti Rya Ganguly landed in films through a “process of elimination”, after internships in investment banking, advertising and journalism. The 31-year-old did economics because “that’s just the thing you do”, but simultaneously studied fine arts – “I knew I loved the arts, I just didn’t know I could be working in them”. That’s until the Northwestern University grad interned on Sudhir Mishra’s 2003 film, Chameli. Soon after, she returned to New York, where she worked for a string of non-profit companies and continued to make videos on the side. When she heard Nylon was looking for a video producer she thought, “I can’t work at Nylon. Don’t you have to be cool to work there?” The alternative fashion magazine clearly thought she was plenty cool, because she went on to make a whopping 200 videos for them in under a year.

Ganguly paused her incredibly good run only to acquire a double Masters in film and business – “a Masters for the indecisive,” as she likes to call it – from New York University. That’s when James Franco (a graduate and later faculty member) enlisted her to develop projects for his production house, where she produced the forthcoming drama The Color of Time, starring Zach Braff, Jessica Chastain and Mila Kunis, as well as Yosemite, based on Franco’s fictionalised experiences of growing up in Palo Alto. Next, she’s looking forward to the Venice Film Festival premiere of H, a modern retelling of Helen of Troy, which she produced for Guggenheim fellows Rania Attieh and Daniel Garcia. Oh, and she also found time to direct shorts for fashion labels Sachin + Babi and Saunder this month. What was that about making a living in the arts again?

Sequinned duxford bomber jacket, Low Down Dress; both Saunder

Photograph:Georgi Richardson