Nitesh Ranglani has worked in various capacities in Bollywood as well as Hollywood. He has worked on films like Gori Teri Pyaar Main, Dishoom, etc. He has now ventured into short films with ‘Pocket Mummy’. The film starred Madhoo and Parzaan Dastur as a mother son duo. We got in touch with Nitesh and asked him about how the film got planned and executed.
How did ‘Pocket Mummy’ Happen?
The lead actor, Parzan and I, go back a long way. The idea is his baby. He wrote the script and he sent it to me. We decided to go ahead with it.
What inspired you to do this film?
Our mothers have played a great role in our lives. They play a pivotal role in bringing us up, achieve our dreams. Mothers are the first stepping stone.
How did you get in touch with Parzan?
Parzan and I go back to the times of Gori Tere Pyaar Main. We were room mates, so that bond happened. It only made sense to make something together.
Mother’s Day was 20 days away back then. We decided that if it has to go, it has to go now. That meant taking help from others whom we have worked with.
And how did you set up the film finally?
We approached our friends. The Production designer, Shruti Rastogi, the Costume Stylist Gayatri Thadani, were with us. We came together like a force, a bond that we had not shared before. It was like working with family again. They have all been a part of our journey till date.
How did you get in touch with Madhoo?
I happened to Whatsapp Madhoo ma’am one day and I introduced myself. She worked in my father’s film, ‘Yeshwant’. She was gracious enough to reply and say that she’d see the script and then decide.
The very next day, she said that she loved it. When we saw her in person, we knew that this was the lady who should play the mother.
The idea was to hold on to the natural beauty that she is. The character is someone who’s not an uneducated person, but a homemaker. She suited the part.
How was the experience of shooting the film?
We shot the film in six hours. We had one day to shoot with Madhoo ma’am. Parzan is a great actor, he has been acting since a very long time. He started out as a child actor and now he is the lead hero. Both were brilliant performers, the slightest of brief and they took it ahead.
How is the response of the film?
We had more than 30,000 views in two days, that was a big achievement. There were two other short films that released that day, and yet we could hold on. It’s a different kind of high to have performers like Madhoo ma’am and Parzan together. People from the industry have praised us.
Your film deals with the working woman concept. Tell us about that.
You see, in the film, the husband never discouraged his wife from working. He only treated her as a princess. He never told her that you shouldn’t work because you are a woman. She isn’t complaining too. She’s just saying that ‘if only he’d have allowed me to work’.
My mother has been an entreprenuer for the last nine years. My sister is a working woman too. I really look up to them because they aren’t relying on men for anything.
More film-makers are venturing into short films. Why do you think that is happening?
This is a great platform for film-makers to tell their story in short span of time. It’s not like you have a thought but you have to write a script that’ll run for 2 hours. You write a script for 10 minutes and you go ahead with it. They also get instant audience feedback.
There is ease in consumption of the content because the audience can watch it at their own time anywhere. If they love the content they can also share it instantly thus providing more reach to the film-makers.
Many Indian film-makers are going for the smaller durations in their films. What’s your take on it?
The content in short has to be quick and deliver the message in time. Some web series might have 20 minute episodes, that’s fine, but you cannot extend it beyond 20 to 25 minutes.
I am a firm believer of making something that’s within 8 to 10 minutes unless the content demands. We should not show something in 16 minutes that we can show in 6 minutes. When I see a short film that’s long, I tend to loose interest and I feel, so would the audience.
Netflix and Amazon are giving a platform for smaller film-makers. What is your take on that?
When smaller film-makers get this kind of platform, they are more than happy to show their skills. But it is not easy for them. They have to make high quality content, these streaming platforms have processes and filters in place.
Which are the three big streaming services according to you?
Netflix and Amazon are definitely the big names in the streaming industry. Along with those two, I’d say Hotstar is also becoming big in India.
Nitesh’s film, ‘Pocket Mummy’ creates new characters that are unique in the Indian film scene. It handles a sensitive topic and a talking point in an entertaining manner. You can watch his film here: