Leena Yadav took a five-year gap between making Shabd and Teen Patti, and now she is ready to show Indian audiences her new latest film Parched, releasing in Indian theatres on Friday.
“I don’t take breaks. It’s just very difficult for me to make films because I don’t fit into the typical Bollywood formula films,” said the director.
“It was later, after I made Shabd  and Teen Patti  when people told me that the films were brilliant. Initially, my films were criticised and I was told that I had made [expletive],” she added.
“It was weird for me because by the time I was making Teen Patti, people were calling Shabd a cult film. I was trying to find my audience and I think I’ve found them with Parched,” she added.
Shabd, starring Aishwarya Rai and Sanjay Dutt, was about a writer who becomes schizophrenic, while the Amitabh Bachchan and Ben Kingsley film Teen Patti was about an eccentric math-magician’s adventures.
Her newest offering, Parched, traces the life of four women in a village. The cast includes Tannishtha Chatterjee, Radhika Apte, Surveen Chawla, Adil Hussain, Lehar Khan and Sayani Gupta.
Yadav, who premiered the movie at the Toronto International Film Festival last year, said that the movie has been made for an universal audience.
“I don’t think Parched is for a niche audience at all. It’s for the universal audience and everyone can relate to the film. I have seen the film with a diverse audience and yet it’s so much rooted in India,” she said.
The Ajay Devgn produced film highlights the way society perceives a widow and a sex worker, and also talks about marital rape.
Yadav said her aim is to make films which make her feel proud as a director.
“This is the only profession that I know. I take a lot of time to write my films. I do not want to make 100 films in a lifetime, but I wish to make films that will make me proud.”
“So far, I am proud of the films I have made. I usually take one to six years to make a film as it’s a doting task that has to be worthwhile,” said Yadav.
“I don’t want to get into that formula because that’s not who I am. I didn’t try to understand it. I have done three different films and I wish to go by the same pace.
“We have had a very crazy and beautiful journey. It started with TIFF and that was the show I was so stressed out about. We had such a mix of international audience and that’s the highest point of my life because we got a standing ovation,” she added.