As the NOC Kid Reporter, I got to chat with director Manjari Makijany about Disney’s upcoming film, Spin. It stars Avantika as Rhea, an Indian American teen whose life of coding and working at her family’s restaurant is turned upside down when she discovers her passion for creating DJ mixes that blend her South Asian culture and the world around her. And, she’s a natural. She just needs to figure it out if she could fit it in her busy schedule.
The film, which is the first Disney Original film to spotlight a South Asian family, brings to light both Indian and American cultures blended together. I told Makijany how important and meaningful it was to see someone who looked like me.
“I want you guys to be able to see more people like us on screen and in leading roles,” Makijany says. “And, be able to celebrate our Indian culture in a mainstream way — a contemporary way. Something that is fun.”
I also brought up how Rhea, and Makijany’s previous leading ladies, is refreshing because they’re not the stereotype that Hollywood places on South Asian women. Makijany wants to have characters who are unconventional and not afraid to challenge the status quo. “We need more people doing unconventional things that inspire more people to do more fun things,” Makijany revealed.
Check out the full interview below:
Disney’s Spin premieres on Friday, August 13 on the Disney Channel!