Masaan fame director Neeraj Ghaywan is earning accolades for his newest venture Juice, a short film. It was screened at JIO MAMI. The short stars Shefali Shah as Manju, who tries in her small way to shake the patriarchal walls of her house. Neeraj Ghaywan talks more about the film, his love for web entertainment and much more in an exclusive chat with TheDigitalHash.com
How did you decide on the concept of Juice?
Caste and gender politics is a personal issue for me. I am always vocal about them. During my childhood, I have seen how women are sidelined into the kitchen in get-togethers. This happens even though the family is progressive, with modern values and speaks highly of feminism. The women, sitting in the kitchen, don’t realise the privilege the men are getting.
Telling a story in just 14 minutes can be a tough task.
Telling a story succinctly is a challenge, but it is also liberating. You have to be disciplined, because you are curtailed by budgets, time, and availability of actors that you are keen on casting; but it puts you on the edge. And that is when true creativity comes out. That’s why I love shorts.
On the other hand, you have to make do with whatever is available. But the kind of freedom you enjoy surpasses all the limitations.
How was the film been received at the JIO MAMI screening?
I didn’t realize that people will be so moved. It was a terrific response. People found me on Facebook and asked me a lot of questions.
Web content is gaining popularity. How do you justify the growth?
Web entertainment is a good change. It is a democratic forum, where you are not bound by censorship, and themes. It is curated by age and geography. There would be a day where these OTT platforms will stream short films like Juice.
Do you consume digital content?
I watch a lot of stuff on Netflix and Amazon Prime. Netflix’s Black Mirror is my favorite. Currently, I am very hooked on to Mindhunter.
Do you want to direct a web series?
I would have loved to make a Netflix show. I was in talks to direct one, but I want to focus on my Bollywood film now.
What is the last content you streamed?
A short film by Somnath Pal. Titled Death of a Father, this animated film really moved me.
You can watch the interview of Neeraj Ghaywan below