In India where Cricket has long reigned supreme as the country’s most beloved sport, gaining the public’s attention to other athletic competitions can be quite challenging. Exposure and an emotional investment is often the lynch pin to achieving this and Buddy Productions was one of the most successful companies in manifesting this. Producer Carina Chavda was the engine behind two successful programs of this kind; The Winning Post and Force India – One from a Billion Hunt. Steering these shows to national attention and the embrace of the viewing public, Chavda also became a utilized on-camera expert by other shows when discussing the sports. While still involved in television, Carina is also contributing her talent to documentary films like the upcoming Saving Saffron. While actors are the most recognizable artists who take on the visage of a character, Chavda proves that a producer goes deeper into the material than perhaps any other.
The Winning Post was a long running and popular show in Dubai and India (airing on Ten Sports and Zee Sports) with more than twelve seasons. As the producer in charge of this twenty-four-minute episodic series, Carina not only oversaw every aspect behind the scenes but eventually assumed the host position of the show for three seasons. Long established as India’s premier horse racing show, The Winning Post covers news, stories, and interviews from the prestigious horseracing world. The attention she received from the show led CNBC and Economic Times Now to enlist her to host segments on their coverage of the races in India. Chavda’s intention to create the best television show of its kind resulted in her international recognition as the face of India’s horse racing coverage.
Carina’s work producing a television series airing on NDTV Good Times in India was focused on an even greater depiction of speed. Force India – One From a Billion Hunt was a reality show searching for India’s next great Formula One Driver. The show scoured seven cities presenting racing competitors between the ages of thirteen to eighteen. From Mumbai to Amritsar, Goa, Kohlapur, and beyond, Chavda took her travelling production crew to various locations to unearth the youth drivers who will train to be the leaders of this sport. India’s first Formula One racing team [Force India] was founded in 2007 and has increased in popularity each year, with Force India – One From a Billion Hunt contributing substantially to the public’s awareness and intersect of this burgeoning pursuit.
Sometimes the danger is not only that which is displayed in front of the camera. Chavda completed work on the soon to be released 21 Filmworks documentary film Saving Saffron with filmmaker Tammy Khajotia. Tammy convinced the producer of the importance of the impact of climate change on the saffron growing region of Kashmir; leading the two to travel there together and document it. Chavda describes, “What started off as two female filmmakers traveling to Pampore during saffron harvest season to see how the change in climates had affected the crop, resulted in unearthing of bigger problems that the farmers in the region have to face. From cement factories that are unregulated and destroying not only the crop but the people living there to corruption in the government that prevents the farmers from getting the help they need to a state that has been taken over by the military, the problems for the Kashmiris are far from over. This documentary gives a voice to the local farmers, the people most impacted and ask important questions that need answering.” Making use of her professional abilities, she adds, “Before we started our journey to Kashmir we had a lot of resistance from family and friends who believed Kashmir to be very unsafe and thought that two women traveling there on their own had to be out of their mind to do so. The biggest struggle we had was making sure where we were going was safe. I made sure we spoke to the right people, established contacts in the region and did a ton of research to make sure that myself and the director would be safe.”
These various productions are diametrically in opposition to the lens some would like to paint a woman in the film and television industry. Carina Chavda continues to use every opportunity to display a confident, driven, intelligent, curious, and yes…seemingly fearless professional in present day. From racing thoroughbreds at breakneck speeds to roaring race cars to international investigations, this producer is rejecting any description save that of excellent creator of compelling stories.