Anjali is fast emerging as a force to reckon with in Malayalam cinema Image Credit: Xpress /Zarina Fernandes

Dubai  has had a huge influence on me. It has enabled me to develop a hybrid consciousness," says Anjali Menon, the 34-year-old film producer, director and scriptwriter, who is making waves in Malayalam cinema.

Anjali's first feature film Manjadikuru was adjudged the Best Malayalam Film and Best Debut Film at the International Film Festival in Kerala. Her last film Kerala Café premiered at the Dubai International Film Festival last year to rave reviews.

An alumnus of the Indian High School and Our Own English School in Dubai, Anjali recalls how her parents made it a point to keep her rooted in Indian culture by enrolling her for classes in Indian classical music and dance. "In addition, being in Dubai, I imbibed values from all over the world," she says.

Recalling how she spent a large part of her childhood reading at the British Council library in Dubai, she says she was drawn by its vast repository of literary works. Married and now based in Mumbai, she runs a film company which develops independent film and digital projects.

Anjali, who is a post-graduate in film direction from the London Film School, has to her credit a huge body of documentaries and short films, not just in Malayalam but also Hindi and English. She is currently scripting her next feature film which, she reveals, is a commentary on the socio-political system in Mumbai.