Talented actor Sai Deodhar who has just wrapped up her 4 year-long acting stint with Colors show Udaan, is quite busy promoting her (produced, directed and written) award-winning 13 minute long short film at various National and International film festivals.
‘DATE’ traces the story of 50 year old Mrs Sharma (Shama Deshpande), who for the first time hits the job market. The other cast includes Sai’s better half, Shakti Anand, and Iris Maity.
“I drew the inspiration for this story of a second coming from my filmmaker mother, Sharbani Deodhar, who had to take up a corporate job at Star Pravah at 49 after my dad, well-known Marathi film cinematographer, Debu Deodhar, passed away due to cancer. It was quite a journey for her to compete with 20 year olds who know everything. She had to start from scratch, such as using a laptop, as corporates have a formal method of functioning,” says Sai, who has been seen on TV for the last 15 years. Her notable shows have included Saara Akaash, Kasautii Zindagii Kay, Ek Ladki Anjaani Si etc.
Here, Sai adds, “As opposed to popular perception, it is not only women of the lower socio-economic strata who need economic independence. Many rich wives also have no self-identity, apart from their uber-wealthy husbands.”
Rather than releasing it on YouTube, Sai prefers the film festival route. “And I was pleasantly surprised to win 5 awards at a Chilean (South America) film festival. Who would have thought that desi content will appeal to them as well? I guess the old maxim that films have no language does hold a lot of water. I next plan to showcase DATE at the prestigious MAMI film festival.”
“Once the festival circuit finishes, I will eventually plan to sell it to some OTT player, as I do need to recover my costs. To be honest, I am not really sure about how much I will make, as this is my first attempt. I chose the short format for it is the best possible avenue for budding film-makers to showcase their wares. Already, people in the trade are talking about DATE, so I think my efforts are already getting rewarded. I have bigger plans in the pipeline, which I will disclose later.”
How was it behind the camera? “Coming from an industry family, it was not too tough, as we sleep, breathe and live films. Being an actor myself, I was in a better position to explain to my actors about what exactly I was looking from them. The biggest challenge in a short is to wrap up shooting as soon as possible, given budgetary constraints. Having just had one day, I did lots of prep to avoid any last minute hassles.”
Way to go, Sai!!