Motivational speaker and author Jillian Haslam’s life story to be made into a Hollywood feature film
Motivational speaker, philanthropist, and author, Jillian Haslam is known for uplifting the lives of many. She has five food banks and three study centres in the city and the E3 programme (Educate-Empower-Employ) of the Remedia Trust Foundation which helps the youth of the city, develop employable skills.
Her only motivation?- Gratitude towards the ones who helped her survive during times when luck was not her side. Hollywood director Jack Sholder and screenwriter Joshua Russell will soon be making a film on her life, as documented by her in the autobiography Indian.English: A Memoir. The script, written by Joshua Russell, is largely based on how Jillian braved the odds to make ends meet, through financial struggles and personal losses, and yet managed to make it big. The movie will be produced by Huw Penallt Jones.
Jillian Haslam quotes Maya Angelou when we ask her about her inspiration, which helped her brave all kinds of adversities. “I can be changed by my circumstances but I refuse to be reduced by it," she says, adding, "I want every young person to understand the meaning of this line and to live by it. It’s not what happens to you, but what you do about it, that makes all the difference".
“The fact that I am able to reach out to people and help them is a dream that I am living in. Just being a motivational speaker is not going to help and this movie is a stepping stone to reach little girls, who need help and assistance, because I have been in their place and I know, what they are going through,” she adds.
The movie will be shot in different locales in India, (including Kolkata) as well as in England, with a top-notch star cast from Hollywood, such as Angelina Jolie or Kate Winslet or Nicole Kidman, playing the lead role. The untitled movie will be going on floors in the first half of the year 2020. The book Indian. English: A Memoir will also be re-launched just before the movie’s release.
“I look at this movie as an opportunity to make a difference to other people’s lives. As a storyteller, I found something very compelling about Jillian’s story- to be able to face hardships and yet come out a winner – it’s almost like a Charles Dickens’ story,” says Jack Sholder, who has directed films like, Alone in the Dark, The Hidden and Night at The Elm Street 2.
Screenwriter Joshua Russell is still working on the script and reveals, “It is very difficult to adapt a real-life story for a feature film because the story structure of a feature is very strict and specific. You have to be very thoughtful about what’s in the film and what’s not in the film.”
“Sometimes the limitation of depicting the changes that a character goes through in real life, in a two-hour movie, leads you to combine elements, situations, and characters, which arrive at the desired result- a little differently than it happened in real life. The goal is, to be honest to the truth than the literalness of the reality,” he adds