Debutante director Bela Negi has used real villagers from Uttarakhand, who constitute for 95 per cent of the total cast, for her film
Daayan Ya Baayan
. Only three actors including Deepak Dobriyal, who plays the lead, were flown in from Mumbai to the sleepy village of Chaukori in Kumao, Uttarakhand.
Upset about the lack of promotion for her film, the FTII graduate says, “We need more Aamir’s to promote small-budget films like
, which have potential. While Anusha’s (Rizvi) film was heavily and creatively promoted, my film is on the other side of the marketing spectrum, with no promotion.”
Though Negi’s film promos have been ready for a long time, they were never put on air and she wasn’t even informed that the film is releasing this Friday (October 29). “Producer Sunil Doshi didn’t communicate the release date. I got to know a week ago, else I would have begun promotions from my side,” says the director, whose film will only be released in Mumbai and Delhi. She is unsure about its release in Bengaluru and Kolkata and hopes the film will have a life after release and go to festivals.
Talking about the film, the director says there were no acting workshops held separately for the villagers due to budget and time constraints. The crew created an informal set-up so that they were not conscious in front of the camera. “Instead of being behind the camera , I would chat with them during the shot, while staying outside the frame and give them cues. They took to acting very naturally,” says Negi who lived with them in huts during the shoot.
The film is about a guy who goes back from Mumbai to his village to settle there. He becomes a laughing stock in the village until entry in a television show wins him a car. This elevates his status in the village. Deepak Dobriyal, who plays the central character, says, “My character realises the car is a white elephant that creates a mess in his life. This realisation takes him on a long journey because his only ardent fan, his son, loses respect for him.”