Shefali Shah: I always wanted to direct a film

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National award-winning actress Shefali Shah, who is making her directorial debut with the short film ‘Happy Birthday Mummyji’, says that helming a film was always on her bucket list.

Shefali said, “I wanted to direct a film for the longest time but I wasn’t sure if immediately I can take the responsibility of a feature film. However, during the lockdown, we all have got a good amount of time to ponder upon many things, and directing a film was one such for me.”

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She added, “I started writing the story and worked on the script and eventually, I decided to direct the story by myself. That is how my directorial debut happened.” The film revolves around a housewife Suchi.

Asked about the inception, Shefali said, “During the lockdown, every one of us was so in each other’s face that after a point of time, we all just wanted to get away from everything. There was no mental space we had for ourselves because on one hand we had work-from-home and on the other hand we had duties to be fulfilled to our families. There was no breather really, and the story stems from there.”

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According to the “Satya” actress, directing a film was such a different experience and quite a tough job as opposed to acting.

For the 15-minute-long film, she took a preparation time of two months.

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“I think for a feature film direction, I would take a year-long preparation and by the grace of God, the kind of acting opportunity I am getting now, even though I wish to direct, I will think about it next year onwards,” said the “Delhi Crime” famed actress.

She added: “Direction is a job of taking responsibility for everyone’s faith in you, collaborating with them and giving the right credit, and justifying their effort while making the film.

“Also, I realised that as a creative mind even though we can imagine doing a lot, as a director, we have to keep the logistical execution within a budget and timeframe in mind.”

“Happy Birthday Mummyji” releases on July 23 on Royal Stag Barrel Select Large Short Films and its YouTube channel.

–By Arundhuti Banerjee

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