In August 2013, POV caught up with Nisha Pahuja, Director of The World Before Her to find out what’s happened since the camera stopped rolling.
POV: What has happened in the lives of Ruhi Singh, Prachi Trivedi and Pooja Chopra since the end of this film?
Nisha Pahuja: Ruhi is modeling and about to appear in a small Bollywood film. Prachi now has a law degree and is practicing law! She is also reformulating her relationship to God. Pooja has done very well and was in her first big Bollywood film recently called Commando. Commando is naturally going to be followed by a sequel, and she is preparing for that.
POV: How have audiences reacted to the film?
Pahuja: By and large, audiences have been deeply moved and engaged by the film. Most people fall in love with Prachi. She is such a powerful character.
POV: Has the film screened in India? What’s the reaction been there?
Pahuja: The film has screened at a number of festivals in India and we’re gearing up for a larger release. The audiences and media who have seen it have all loved it and been extremely supportive. Many people feel right now is the perfect time for the film to be seen — since the Delhi gang rape and the recent Mumbai gang rape, women’s rights is front and center in India. Also, 2014 is an election year and if right wing leader Narendra Modi is able to become as powerful across the country as he is in Gujarat, India could once again see a rise in Hindu extremism. I have been warned that the film will be controversial here and to be prepared for a backlash.
POV: What are you working on next?
Pahuja: Next up for me is a series and a feature doc on fundamentalism. Over the course of making this film I became intrigued by the idea of fundamentalism and how it is steadily increasing around the world in various guises — not just religious. I think it’s one of today’s most critical, global issues and we have to understand it, and more importantly, those who feel that their vision of God and the world is the only truth.