Amit Sial on working with an all-women team during Yellow Bus shoot: It felt good watching them make such in-depth film
Amit Sial talks to HT about his film Yellow Bus which premiered at the MAMI Film Festival recently. He shares his experience of working with an all-women team.
After making a mark with his portrayal of a complex protagonist in the web series Kathmandu Connection and a Pakistani antagonist in Commando, Amit Sial is back with a new film, this time an emotional family drama, Yellow Bus. “The life of an antagonist is very interesting, he can do anything. Those characters have fantastic shades. But since I am an actor and want to do a variety of roles, I have no favouritism among my characters,” he says. Also read: Gulshan Devaiah on turning down roles that don't interest him: ‘I get calls from the South but…’
In Yellow Bus, Amit plays the father of a school-going girl who dies in an unfortunate accident. The trailer is enough to indicate the intensity of the storm that hits him and his wife, and explores what happens when a couple loses a child. “It shows what you cannot see from the outside, how the surviving family members deal with coming out of the grief,” says the actor.
Experience of shooting Yellow Bus
Yellow Bus is not just a different film for Amit but also turned out to be a new, enriching experience for the actor as it was his first visit to the Gulf. The film has been shot in Abu Dhabi (location not revealed) and is a collaborative effort involving Indian, Jordanian, Emirati, and American production houses. It had its world premiere at the recently held Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival 2023.
Opening up about the film shoot in Abu Dhabi, Amit says, “Shooting abroad is obviously a different experience. It was quite intriguing as everything was new for me. As some were from Tunisia, some from Egypt, some from Lebanon, so talking to them, getting to know them better and experiencing their different cultures was quite a nice experience.”
Amit confirmed it was mostly an all-women team with the producer Guneet Monga, writer-director Wendy Bednarz and other crew members being women. “It was quite a rich experience to watch almost the all-women team work and make such a good, in-depth film by investing their time and resources. It’s very important to show in society that men and women can do anything if they put their heart and soul into it, they are equal. A man can do household work and a woman can work outside the house,” he says.
Amit claims it was challenging to do as much justice to the script as beautiful and detailed it was. “The biggest challenge is always to honestly play the character the actor has taken as a responsibility. I feel I have done it to quite an extent. It is a very emotional film. We 35-40 members of the film crew lived together, ate together. We almost became a family and that translates on screen,” he says.
Amit Sial behind the camera
In real life too, Amit is married to a former actor and says she has supported him in whatever he wanted to do ever since they started seeing each other. “She knew all about the profession so it was always a good help,” he smiles.
Amit hails from Kanpur but attended college in Delhi and then moved to Australia for further studies. He worked a job in Delhi and went on to start his own takeaway when he got an offer from Mumbai and moved to the city 18 years ago. “I finally decided to do what gives me happiness. I had a hand to mouth existence but there was never a situation where I had to worry about my next meal,” he signs off.