Shefali Shah on her debut directorial short film: I shot in my house with a unit of five people
She’s not a stranger when it comes to receiving accolades and adulation as an actor. But, now, Shefali Shah is going places after having donned the director’s hat for the first time. Her debut short film as a director, Someday, has made it to the 18th Indian Film Festival Stuttgart, Germany.
Talking about how she finally gave in to her directing aspirations, the 48-year-old says, “I’ve been wanting to direct for a pretty long time but I wasn’t sure if I was ready to take on the responsibility of a director. During the lockdown, of course, we were all using our time to write and paint, whatever way, to keep us creatively going.”
Shah reveals that the idea of this film was inspired by the fact that people are not able to meet each other during the pandemic.
“One of the things that affected me deeply about the pandemic was that it’s not just the disease but the distance from our people that will kill us... not being able to touch them or just live in isolation,” Shah shares, adding, “I took a lot from my childhood and my relationship with my mother. It actually compelled me to make the film. I didn’t even know why I was making it earlier.”
And hence, the actor decided to direct the short, amid the pandemic. “Until you don’t dive into the deep sea, you’re not going to learn how to swim,” she quips, and shares that she shot the entire film with a very small crew.
“I had just five people in the unit, and I knew what I wanted visually. I had a great creative session with my assistant directors, that’s how it came about. I shot it at my own residence,” she says.
Asked if there were any apprehensions about letting people inside her house given the virus scare was still looming large at that time, the actor shares they all took adequate precautions.
“We obviously had done our Covid-19 tests, etc, so we weren’t going anywhere in terms of work. It had started full fledged, and it only used to be from home to office. It was very well taken care of. Of course, sanitising and all of that happened,” she ends.