Filmmaker wouldn’t swap St John’s Wood for Hollywood

An award-winning film-maker has no plans to swap St John’s Wood for Hollywood, despite her latest picture earning one of independent cinema’s most coveted prizes.

An award-winning film-maker has no plans to swap St John’s Wood for Hollywood, despite her latest picture earning one of independent cinema’s most coveted prizes.

Gulrukh Khan’s documentary series Blue Velvet in Sinai, which chronicles the relationship between humans and dolphins, won the Best Documentary Award at the Colorado-based international Moondance Film Festival this month.

But Ms Khan, who lives just off Abbey Road, has no plans to leave her London home.

She said: “London is so cultural and one of the famous capitals of the world. I love the energy and creativity in New York, but I wouldn’t want to go to California, I’d have to drive everywhere.


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“I could make a film about all the artists in St John’s Wood, especially getting down towards the Maida Vale area. It’s a part of London that’s just so full of creatives.”

Ms Khan, who grew up in Pinner, north west London and has lived in St John’s Wood for the last 10 years, got into film-making while travelling in India, her father’s country, when she was in her twenties.

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She worked with legendary Bollywood director Shyam Ramanna, who helped her develop her film skills.

Her dolphin documentaries highlight the way interaction between people and dolphins affects both human and animal – focusing on the touching story of Olin, a dolphin in the Red Sea who befriended a Bedouin fisherman from the Sinai desert namned Abdallah.

She said: “I have always loved dolphins since I was very young, Maybe I was one in a previous life. They are so friendly, compassionate and so self-aware. That’s what I was trying to capture in the film.”

Her next documentary, Spirit2Power, moves away from wildlife to explore the “spirit” of martial arts.

Ms Khan said: “I love the way people who do martial arts can do such amazing things with their body, and have such amazing power.”

If she were given an unlimited, budget, the film-maker would produce a “cosmic love story, about people from different planets and dimensions meeting and falling in love”.

But despite these big dreams, her roots remain in north west London and India.

“I would never trade London for Hollywood,” she says, “I would like to bring Bollywood and London together, though. That would make great synergy in a film.”

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