Titled Khujli, a short film produced by Terribly Tiny Talkies and directed by Sonam Nair will be going live on 31st March at 8 PM.

The short film releasing on TTT’s Facebook & Youtube handles; stars Jackie Shroff and Neena Gupta who will be seen sharing the screen space for the first time.

We catch up for a quickie with the Director Sonam Nair to understand her film-making journey leading to Khujli and what’s next on her agenda.

Have you always wanted to be a film-maker?

There’s nothing else that makes my heart pound more than the thought of making films. So, I guess, I let my body tell me what to do for a living.

Khujli director, Sonam Nair

Khujli director, Sonam Nair

Tell us about your journey into film-making.

I studied Film and Writing in the states for 4 years. I spent a year in New York after college doing odd jobs like casting extras, reading scripts for an independent film company, answering phones at an AD production company.

Then I came back and worked as an Assistant Director on Wake Up Sid, a film that taught me everything. Later I worked as a Script Supervisor on Saat Khoon Maaf. After that, I thought it was time to write my own film. Luckily, I found a home at Dharma and got to make it!

How did ‘Khujli’ come into being?

I met Chintan and Sharanya at a coffee shop one night for a quick meeting, that turned into this roller-coaster called Khujli! We all knew immediately that we would work well together, and create something we are all equally excited about. When ideas and ideologies match, only then does good work get done!

This is the first short I’ve written since college, and it was tougher than I thought. To say everything in 10 pages is not easy at all! Sharanya held my hand all through the process, making it better with each revision. And then there was the casting. We knew once we had the perfect cast, we would be set. And boy were we lucky to get Jackie Shroff and Neena Gupta! Everything just came together wonderfully on this one.

Jacky Shroff and Neena Gupta in Khujli

Jackie Shroff and Neena Gupta in Khujli

How was it working with Jackie Shroff and Neena Gupta?

I was so pleasantly surprised when I met both Jackie Sir and Neena Ma’am in their houses. They were so easygoing and friendly and excited to do something like this. With all their experience, they still had that ‘newcomer’ excitement for this project. That continued on set as well. Neither of them have done something like this before, and they were gracious enough to trust me completely and just go with the flow. There were no inhibitions, no hangups, just the joy of making something fun together.

How was your experience working with TTT?

This experience with TTT has given me the satisfaction of the full cycle of writing and directing a film in a shorter time, which has made me realize I need to do more of these! So, maybe another short is also on the horizon.

Jacky Shroff and Neena Gupta in a still from Khujli

Jackie Shroff and Neena Gupta in a still from Khujli

Your favourite moment throughout the making of ‘Khujli’?

This film, just based on it’s concept, is inherently something that was going to create a really fun shooting process. Which is exactly what happened. We spent the 2 shoot days trying to control our laughter so we wouldn’t ruin the takes! I think anything Jackie sir does or says is just too funny, and Neena Ma’am has that very straight-faced sense of humour.

One of my favourite sequences while shooting was when I told them a situation, and just left them to improvise it and figure it out in the take. They brought in so much humour and authenticity to that situation, that I have decided to keep the whole take as it is in the film. And my other favourite moment was when they started discussing the shoot of the iconic ‘Choli Ke Peeche’ on set. I suddenly realized my childhood self would go nuts if she knew I would be working with the two of them one day!

What’s next?

Next is a feature film, hopefully. I’m working on a script for my next directorial venture. I work as a screenwriter as well, so looking forward to some of the things I have written to show up on the big screens.