I don’t do films which do not appeal to me: Naved Aslam

Actor Naved Aslam, who was in the city, speaks about his latest short film, which is winning laurels at various film festivals

regional movies Updated: Jul 10, 2017 16:17 IST
Anjali Shetty
Anjali Shetty
Hindustan Times, Pune
Naved Aslam,Nikhat Powell,The Benefaction
Pune, India - July 7, 2017: Naved Aslam in Pune, India, on Friday, July 7, 2017. (Photo by Rahul Raut/HT PHOTO)(Rahul Raut/HTPHOTO)

Best remembered for his commercial stint in Ajay Devgn-starrer Once Upon a Time in Mumbaai (2010), actor Naved Aslam is currently enjoying the success of his latest short film, The Benefaction. Directed by Nikhat Powell, the film has been receiving a great response at film festivals.

“The film is about a man’s tryst with karma. I play Rishi, a cab driver, who is working hard to save money to cure his daughter’s illness and pay the EMI of his cab. The movie has been screened at various film festivals across the globe,” says Naved.

The 29-minute film has won several awards such as Best Short Film at GIIFFA (Global Impact International Film Festival) 2017, Honorable Jury mention at 7th Dada Saheb Phalke Film Festival, Best Screenplay award at the 6th Bangalore Short Film Festival, Official selection at Miami Independent Film Festival and Official Selection at Central Florida Film Festival and more.

Recently, Naved was also seen in an Assamese feature film, Xhoixoboite Dhemalite (Rainbow Fields), which has won the Best Foreign Film Award at the Hollywood International CineFest 2017. Written and directed by Bidyut Kotoky, the film also stars Victor Banerjee and Dipannita Sharma. “The film is directed by a friend, and I think if someone believes that I fit in a role then I should oblige and play it, provided it is a good film,”

Interestingly, Naved charged just a rupee as his remuneration of this film. “I have seen how much Bidyut struggled to get this film together. I am an actor and would love to get paid well. However, I don’t mind letting go off or reducing my remuneration if the budget of the film is low or the team is short on money. I don’t do films, which do not appeal to me. I have never done a film only because the money is good.”

Soon, Naved will also be seen in a web series, tentatively titled Smoke. The movie is about the Russian mafia in Goa. “It is shot in Morjim (Goa) and has an excellent team of actors comprising Neil Bhoopalam, Kalki Koechlin, Tom Alter and the likes. I have most of my scenes with Tom. We have shot the first season and are awaiting the launch.”

Now that he has done a couple of regional films, will he venture into the Marathi film industry? “Well, I have tried to speak in Assamese, so why not Marathi? I have watched most of Umesh’s (Kulkarni; director) films and liked them. There have been some great content-driven films here and I hope to get some offer soon.”

First Published: Jul 10, 2017 16:17 IST