Vidya Balan on making debut as a producer: Powerful story called out to me
Making her debut as a producer, Vidya Balan joins Ronnie Screwvala to back film that exposes India's rape culture
She may be busy promoting her next, Mission Mangal, and giving shape to her web series on former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, but Vidya Balan has managed to squeeze another project in her date diary. mid-day has learnt that the actor has joined hands with good friend and producer Ronnie Screwvala for a short film titled Natkhat. So moved was Balan by the social drama — which exposes the rape culture in India — that she decided to back it as well.
A source close to the film reveals, "The short film has been co-written and directed by Shaan Vyas, who has produced acclaimed films like Masaan (2015) and Shahid (2012), and is a festival regular. With Vidya at the centre of the proceedings, the story depicts how parenting can play a key role in abolishing gender inequality and rape culture. While Shaan was keen that Vidya play the lead, he was in for a surprise as the actor readily came on board as a producer. The film is currently on the editing table and is likely to be released next month. Shaan is also keen to take it to some international festivals."
Known to have a sharp eye for scripts, Balan says the short is one of the most thought-provoking stories to have come her way. "It's a powerful story that called out to me in a way that made me want to act in it and also turn producer. And who better than RSVP to do it with! It explores the patriarchal imitation culture across India through innocence, relationships and euphemisms, which have not been showcased on screen before."
Screwvala echoes Balan's sentiment as he says, "When I first heard the script, I immediately knew this film had to be made. The project addresses so many issues and gives out a powerful message too. I am happy to collaborate with Vidya on this film."
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