Director Rajshree Ojha on Potluck 3 and her new film BaeWajah

Kolkata girl Rajshree Ojha, maker of films like Aisha and Chaurahen speaks about her upcoming works, her struggles in the industry and more. 

Dharitri Ganguly Published :  20th April 2023 08:00 PM   |   Published :   |  20th April 2023 08:00 PM
Rajshree Ojha

Rajshree Ojha


Kolkata girl Rajshree Ojha’s OTT debut with Potluck was such a fun watch to be enjoyed with your family. And it goes without saying the season 2 that was released recently was a great watch too. Ojha, who made a huge mark with a modern and fancy take on Jane Austen’s Emma with Sonam Kapoor and Abhay Deol’s Aisha, the audience might have forgotten the decade-long battle to release her multi-starrer film Chaurahen. We speak with her about her upcoming works, her struggles in the industry and more. 

Tell us something about BaeWajah, your adaptation of Sense and Sensibility.

My upcoming film projects include a modern retelling of Jane Austen's first book, Sense and Sensibility, which focuses on the journey of two sisters with contrasting personalities - one being sensible and the other impulsive. This gen Z adaptation, titled BaeWajah, is something I'm particularly excited about.

Potluck 2 was your last release. Was it an easy casting?

When Potluck  happened, I knew the actors. I had already worked with Cyrus and Ira during Aisha. They were an easy cast but they were perfect for their characters. Harman was also someone I knew. I actually auditioned Harman and Saloni and they were perfect together. They were very good together. So, I didn’t think of anybody else. Shikha was lovely. When I met her, I thought she would be lovely as Prerna and I couldn’t think of anybody else. So, I think when casting happens so organically and naturally, everything falls into place. There are ups and downs but we all came together to make this potluck and each character brought in a lot on the table. They are very fine actors. Very natural. I get a lot of compliments that people can actually relate to Promila’s character from season 2. 

How different was it creating season two of Potluck?

Both the seasons were quite different from each other. For Season 1, we shot during Covid and it was like all of us are staying together like a family. This time we focused more on the characters and their storyline rather than one plot like Potluck 1. It opened up all the characters.

How has OTT  changed the scene for indie makers?

OTT has given a voice to many filmmakers and opened up new avenues. I just saw this movie called Lost and it was a very well made film. I'm from Kolkata, so I really liked everything. Nevertheless, the story itself is so intriguing. I think this is what the OTT does. It gives you new stories that you will not go to the theatre to watch, maybe, but you will see them on your screen.

What will be the major takeaways from season 2?

I think each character is relatable whether it be Dhruv or Saloni's character who is a workaholic and then her mother comes in between her job. Then there is Pramila Shahstri who is having her own identity crisis in a way, you know. Where does she belong? At the age of 65, she's trying to find her place in the family or in society for that matter. Ira is a working mom. How she is balancing her house and her work. And then Cyrus who is a stay home father who is also balancing, I think it's very relevant. Even Shikha for that matter and very, very relevant because she's a 30+ young woman who is living with her parents. Who wants to be independent but she is scared. She's finishing her book, she is an artist. How the struggles of an artistry. She can't afford to go and stay on her own. These are the things which are very relevant in Potluck 2.

Behind the scenes of Potluck

What goes into directing a movie and a web series. How different are they?

There is no difference between the two media. It's just that it takes a longer time in films and a little more time than, digital or the web series, but otherwise, it's to think the web series are crunched a little. They need to be finished in a limited time. But the stories, the way we shoot is a similar speed.  

You must have faced hurdles faced in the industry as a woman director.

The challenges are that nobody wants to listen to female-oriented stories and they don't have any bank as such so you have to write female-oriented stories. So that's the challenge, which is what I tried to kind of breakthrough for the longest time and the project is like a reward. I think there is no, you know, it's not like, you know, because you are a female director you get extra miles. No, sometimes, yeah, because some stories make it. Recently I met someone who was looking for a female director because we are keen that a female director will have a better vision for that story. They will give a little more because it's a drama I have on a relationship basis. So maybe that's a good thing, but it is individualistic.

What's your casting process?

When it comes to casting, I look for a balance between an actor's ability to fully embody the character and how well they align with the character's defining traits. This can be achieved either by observing an actor's performance or holding auditions to assess their suitability for the role. I believe that finding the right actor requires a combination of both approaches. This way, the character on screen appears authentic and believable, allowing the audience to fully engage with the story. Without this balance, the performance can feel forced and lack the naturalness necessary to connect with viewers.

What is there in the pipeline?

Apart from BaeWajah, I am also working on Potluck 3, though I would love to share more details about the plot and genre of this film at a later time.