Prathibha Sastry is the founder of the magazine- South Movie Scenes- a magazine exclusively dedicated for the South Indian Film Industry in English. She won the Young Screen Entrepreneur Award 2008 organized by British Council. To follow Young Creative Entrepreneur Awards on Facebook click here. To find out more about Young Screen Entrepreneur Award click here
Prathibha was a speaker at an International Panel in Lyon, France where she spoke about differences between South Indian and Hindi Films. She was the Jury Member at Vilnius International Film Festival in Lithuania. She has been the contributing author for a French/English book on Indian Cinema
What were the circumstances that led to you launching an English magazine about the south Indian film industry?
I have grown up watching south Indian legends. I love movies and the art of film making. When it comes to education, I have done my masters in English literature and a diploma in PR. I have done my post graduate diploma in mass communication and journalism. I started working at a very young age. I started my career by working for a newspaper where I learnt a lot about writing, production and different aspects of running a publication. After that I joined Technology Media Group, this is where I realized I wanted to pursue media as a career. I grew up wanting to be an IAS officer but due to circumstances I was introduced to media and I knew this is what I wanted to do. From there I got into events, PR and after that I started working at WorldSpace as a RJ. I was hosting a show related to Telugu cinema for which I wanted information about the film industry in English but I found out that there were not many accurate, comprehensive sources about the south Indian film industry. I saw an opportunity in this and started to gather information and talk to people in the industry about this idea.
Was it difficult turning an idea into a full-fledged business?
Many people I spoke to found the idea very interesting and feasible but I had limited knowledge and expertise of running a full-fledged publication on my own. Nevertheless I decided to jump in and go ahead. I thought: Let me take a chance, if I don’t then this is something I would regret the rest of my life. In 2006 march I launched the first issue. It has been a roller coaster ride since then and I have enjoyed my time with the magazine. I enjoyed the creative part of my job – producing new things, meeting people, exploring opportunities. I have worked hard to build it from scratch. There was a time when I would personally go to the railway station to see if the copies were being bundled up properly.Was it difficult for a person from a non film background to make inroads in to the film industry?
Through my work at Worldspace I would interact with Telugu film community. When I started the magazine I knew few people in the other film industries as well. They connected me with people who have been in this industry for a long time like veteran journalists and actors. Although it was a bit difficult initially I never gave up and was focused on turning my idea into a success.
How was the response from the industry?
The entire film industry was extremely encouraging and we got great stories and articles. This was the first wholesome glossy English magazine on the entire South Indian Film Industry and very soon grew to be a very popular platform for the Southern Industry even shipping abroad.
How was your experience with YCE?
I signed up for the awards as its one of the few awards in India and the world that tries to recognize creative entrepreneurs. The screen entrepreneur award caught my attention as this is the only platform in India which showcases work in that category. I saw this as a great opportunity to present my idea and magazine to media veterans and the jury. I was declared the India winner and got to go to the UK. That was a very rewarding experience to meet people from different countries doing diverse things. I got to network with many people and I am still friends with many of them. We traveled across the UK and the entire program was put together so that we could experience the various aspects of the creative industry in the UK.What are your future plans?
Having moved on from the magazine, currently I am working on a book on actresses in the South Indian Film Industry. I also attend various film festivals and keep myself updated on various things happening in the film industry.
YourStory wishes Prathibha all the very best in her journey and hopes to see much more interesting work coming from her.