FNP Media’s new short film Almariyaan is releasing on 9th July. It stars Rajesh Sharma, Supriya Shukla and Pranav Sachdev and is directed by Jiya Bhardwaj. Read on to know why Pranav Sachdev was borderline homophobic. 

Speaking about Almariyaan Pranav says, “I used to direct a short play called ‘Coming Out’ written by Ajay Krishnan. From the very beginning, I thought this is a story that should be converted into a screenplay and reach a wider audience. Jiya is one of the finest writers I know, so I approached her with the material, she did a brilliant job at writing the script and later translating it into moving images. Jiya got in touch with FNP media and Vikas Gutgutia generously gave us everything we needed to make this. The dots got connected so harmoniously and the film manifested.”  

Speaking further on the short film Pranav says, “I was borderline homophobic before Almariyaan happened to me.  Being a straight man, I had a deficit of grace to acknowledge that parallel narratives exist and must be engaged with. More than physical my preparation for the role was internal, not just as an actor but as a human being, I had to do a lot of self-counselling and educate myself on the subject matter of homosexuality. I was less empathetic and had a very sanitised vision towards the issue before, I don’t know how I have performed as an actor but I feel transformed as an individual after doing this film.” 

Pranav Sachdev was borderline homophobic:

How was it working with Supriya Shukla and Rajesh Sharma? “Supriya Ji is a treat to work with. She is one of the most supportive and sweetest co-actors I have met. She was in command of the scenes from the word go.  

Rajesh Ji is a thorough professional and comes with years and years of experience. I connected with him because he also belongs to the theatre. Initially, I was a little nervous to work with him but he made the whole process a very enjoyable one.”  

Pranav has an interesting take on the short film formats. He adds, “We are the microwave generation, we want everything very quickly, and trends show that the audience’s attention span is getting shorter by the day.  

Short films are snackable, a quick dose of entertainment, and the lockdown has only accelerated the digital revolution. Hence people have developed a greater appetite for shorter, crisper and juicier content.” 

He adds:

Pranav has worked in the web series Hadh, Dilliwood, Maaya 2, Unafraid. He has also acted on television in shows like Zindagi Dot Com, Agar Tum Sath Ho. He is a popular face in commercials too. 

Pranav and Jiya have known each other for a long since their college days, speaking about Jiya’s direction. Pranav says, “Jiya is an aide, accomplice, creative collaborator and one of my best friends. She makes her actors feel extremely loved and comfortable. I envy her clarity of thought and hope from the bottom of my heart that I get the privilege of being directed by her again and again and then again. Her aesthetic sense and understanding of this medium are exceptionally on point and her films have a great poetic quality to them. She will surely be a force to reckon with in the times to come.”

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