Over the last few years, whenever Nawazuddin Siddiqui would return from film festivals across the world, he would discuss the movies he watched with his younger brother, Shamas Siddiqui.
This year, Shamas will get to attend one such festival personally. His 17-minute short film, Miyan Kal Aana will be part of the Short Film Corner category, a non-competition segment of the Cannes Film Festival this year.
"I’m happy that I will also get to travel to various festivals, starting with Cannes, with my own work, and also get to savour world cinema," says Shamas.
His "elated" elder brother, Nawaz — who has produced the short film — reveals he didn’t meddle with it at all. "I let Shamas be completely free because it’s important that he develops his own thought process instead of agreeing with what I say," says Nawaz, who doesn’t star in his brother’s film.
Shamas adds, "I have never tried to take advantage of Nawaz bhai’s name; and I won’t do it in the future too. If I had to, wouldn’t I have cast him in my short film too? He hasn’t produced my short film because we are siblings. He liked the idea and the script, and that’s why he decided to back it."
But does being Nawaz’s brother help? "It does. For example, if I have to approach producers, they give me time knowing that I am Nawaz bhai’s brother; but nothing more than that," says Shamas, adding that he has to stay away from getting stuck in his brother’s shadow. "And the only way to do that is by doing quality work. I want to make a name for myself," he says.
After five-six months of festival hopping with the short film, Shamas plans to work on a feature film. "It’s not necessary that I will cast Nawaz bhai just because I have a famous name in the family. I’ll cast whoever fits the part," he says. Nawaz echoes the sentiment. "I won’t do his film just because he is my brother. I must like the script to say yes," he says.