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HOT 100 – Cinematographers – Priya Seth, Airlift

For Priya Seth the most challenging part of shooting Airlift was finding the story’s soul as she believes cinematographers “need to find the central truth in a film’s screenplay; the world where it is set, the people and their culture — so that its visuals are honest.” Her fluid camerawork in the movie amply vindicates her modus operandi.

A war film set in a foreign country was bound to be a difficult shoot, but Seth was confident of her abilities, having shot Raja Krishna Menon’s earlier film, Barah Aana. The sprightly technician dismissed gender-centric talk and stated, “If women can fight in wars, why can’t I shoot a war film?”

Her technical expertise is showcased in the scene where Akshay Kumar drove through a blockaded Kuwait street. Seth said, “It was technically challenging; simultaneously coordinating the action and shooting on the war-ridden street, from a moving car.”

The challenges were many. Seth mentioned that the climatic bus ride was shot in the UAE and Rajasthan and maintaining light continuity was a big concern.” Happily, the film cemented her creds in the film industry. She smiled, “I finally feel accepted.”

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