Talented actor, Kanika Maheshwari, most known for her Diya Aur Baati Hum stint, is all set to fly to Chicago, as her short film on cancer, titled Forever Whim, will be showcased at the Chicago South Asian film festival.
This 13 minute short, directed by Prince Dhiman, talks about the relationship between a terminally ill cancer patient mother (she plays the lead) and her five year old daughter (Samruddhi Asarkar), and how the truth unfolds.
“One of my close friend’s son was diagnosed with cancer and I have had a bird’s eye view of the hell they all went through. The Big C is a dreaded disease, affecting not just the victim, but the entire family of the patient, which just collapses. Her experiences formed the bedrock of my story,” says Kanika in a chat with IWMBuzz.com.
Kanika has been part of TV industry for the past 16 years. Her other well-known projects have included India Calling, Kahaani Ghar Ghar Kii, Virasat, Piya Ka Ghar, among others.
Since your better half, Ankur Ghai, is also producer of Forever Whim, what do you feel about the shorts market in India? “It is not huge here yet, but they are a rage internationally. Today people don’t have time for feature length projects. So if you are able to connect with the audience, using the right emotion in the little time you have on hand, your job is done. Our human story has a universal connect. No wonder, it has already won awards at Melbourne and Los Angeles film fests. I have written its screenplay and dialogues. Such international recognition will surely help us commercially, when we decide to sell. Today, there are a host of platforms interested in quality niche content. Apart from OTT players, international airlines like Air India and Jet Airways also buy short films for their long-haul flights’ entertainment needs.”
Kanika wrapped up shooting of Forever Whim in just 19 hours. “We TV actors, being trained to work under pressure, give you the required emotions in a jiffy. Unlike films, we don’t have bound scripts. Lines come to us only on the day of the shoot.”
Looking ahead, while Kanika would not mind trying her hand at interesting and challenging web series, but not wanting to offend her child or parents and in-laws, will not go bold. “
“My face should do the acting and not my body,” says she.
She would not mind returning to the tube as well, “But now I want to do a character that differs from Meenakshi (Diya Aur Baati Hum). Typecasting is a major problem in TV. But I am sure that when people see me in my above new avatar, they will want to explore my other sides as well.”
Kanika, wish you all the best for your States trip!