Film Mentors: International - Sheena Morjaria
Sheena Morjaria is CEO and founder of Flick the Switch, a boutique studio providing a one- stop shop for international investors, distributors and production houses looking to gain access to the vibrant, growing and exciting Indian market.
Following a degree in Law and Economics at the University of Cambridge, Sheena started her career in finance, working in mergers and acquisitions in London, in the media sector. After 3 years in the City, she decided to apply her knowledge and experience to film financing and took the bold step of launching her own film financing company, Flick the Switch in 2006.
Under her banner, Flick the Switch, she produced a collection of award-winning short films and documentaries in the UK and US and structured the finance deals for a number of feature films with budgets below $5 million, including creating the prospectus for EIS schemes in the UK. She has worked with Full Circle Films on the THE MORTICIAN following the success of their first feature KILL KILL FASTER FASTER, which won Best International Feature at the London Independent Film Festival. She was also involved in sourcing finance for ONE ARM BANDIT an action thriller with Tommy Lee Jones and the 3-D horror thriller DEADEYE with director Brett Leonard (HIGHLANDER: THE SOURCE).
In 2008 she collaborated with producer/director Tom Donahue on THE GUEST OF CINDY SHERMAN, which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival and another documentary CASTING BY in conjunction with the who’s who of Hollywood – including Al Pacino, Martin Scorsese, Clint Eastwood, Glenn Close, Robert Redford and many many more. In addition she worked with Tom Donahue (THANKSGIVING, THE WAKE) on the WAITING ROOM a high budget short film shot in New York, MILKMAN directed by James Rumsey, associate produced THE PRIEST and co-financed and produced FRANKIE TEARDROP starring John Dagliesh (BBC’S LARK RISE TO CANDLEFORD) and Olivia Grant (BBC’S LARK RISE TO CANDLEFORD).
In 2009 Sheena travelled to Mumbai to collaborate with Bollywood and in 2010, consulted for Procam Mediatel, one of the leading producers of live sport on Indian television. During her time there, Sheena increased revenues, expanded the company into new areas and elevated a brand that is now widely recognised within the live television arena.
With the launch of many tax schemes to attract foreign films and Sheena’s experience in handling them she is ideally placed to ensure Indian film productions make shooting abroad as cost effective as possible. She has worked with some of the leading producers and directors, structuring their budgets in the most cost effective way and taking advantage of worldwide incentives.
The fusion of Sheena’s Western upbringing and education with her Indian heritage, makes her ideally placed to strategize, generate ideas and create a viable vision to ensure success in one of the fastest growing markets in the world.
Sheena is now working with the new breed of Independent Indian filmmakers to bring their work to a global audience – working with them from inception to completion either as a Producer or Executive Producer.
Her experience of the Indian film industry combined with her expertise and Western mind-set has placed Sheena in a unique position to advise new and budding film-makers about the realities and requirements of creating a commercially successful film. She is often invited to speak at industry conferences and to act as a mentor at workshops and film festivals.
Her vision of a ‘Boutique Studio’ has come to fruition and Flick the Switch is now a growing and successful business, with a variety of exciting and diverse projects currently in the company’s portfolio.