Sunaina Bhatnagar, born on 30 November in
New Delhi, is an upcoming filmmaker and screenwriter. She is an assistant director working under the famous Bollywood director,
Imtiaz Ali. She has assisted Imtiaz in movies like "
Jab We Met" (2007), "
Love Aaj Kal" (2009) and "
Rockstar" (2011). She is currently making her own film, "
Dear Maya", where
Manisha Koirala is the lead actress. Sunaina did her schooling from Sardar Patel Vidyalaya and received her Master’s degree in Global Media and Communication from London School of Economics and Social Science, London. After her post graduation, she returned to India to fulfill her dream of becoming a director. She approached Imtiaz Ali in Mumbai and started working under him.
She got her first break in the Bollywood movie "Jab We Met", directed by Imtiaz, where she worked as his assistant. He realized the inner potential of Sunaina in the first film itself. The Shahid Kapoor- Kareena Kapoor starrer movie became a blockbuster hit. Post that project, Sunaina had consistently assisted Imtiaz on his subsequent movies. In "Love Aaj Kal", she became the independent second- unit director. She even became good friends with the lead,
Saif Ali Khan during the shooting of the movie. Saif offered her to work in his production house, Illuminati Films as a screenwriter. She has also worked as the second- unit director in "Rockstar", directed by Imtiaz Ali again and had
Ranbir Kapoor and
Nargis Fakhri playing the leads.
Imtiaz Ali is said to select his team very cautiously, and he has full faith in this aspiring director. He even encourages and promotes Sunaina to work on her own projects. Sunaina considers Imtiaz Ali as her guru. This talented and hardworking lady is now working on her own project, "Dear Maya". She is the scriptwriter as well as the director of this movie. Manisha Koirala is playing the lead character in this film. This movie is Manisha’s comeback post her long hiatus due to her fight with ovarian cancer. The film is set amidst the scenic beauty of Shimla and Koirala plays the role of a middle- aged woman. The movie is still under production, and its release date is yet to be declared.