I am genuinely appalled and ashamed to call myself citizen of this country; Neeraj Ghaywan comments on Padmavati release controversy


I am genuinely appalled and ashamed to call myself citizen of this country; Neeraj Ghaywan comments on Padmavati release controversy

By News Helpline, Mumbai – 23 November, 2017

‘Masaan’ fame filmmaker Neeraj Ghaywan attended special screening of his short film ‘Juice’ along with lead actress Shefali Shah on Wednesday in Mumbai. During media interaction, Ghaywan stated that he is genuinely appalled and ashamed to call himself citizen of this country over the ‘Padmavati’ release controversy.

When asked Ghaywan about filmmaker’s creative freedom and controversy surrounding release of Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s ‘Padmavati’, he said, “I am genuinely appalled and ashamed to call myself citizen of this country because to see a man but we call it fringe because it’s a new mainstream. A goon can come on a national television and announce that he is going to give 5 crore  for cutting Deepika’s nose or head and then goes up to 10 crore to burn her alive and nothing has happened about it and that is really unfortunate and  it’s a sad state that we are living in”

“I feel we all are feeling pressure of it. Films like  ‘Sexy Durga’ and ‘Nude’ were not allowed to screen at IFFI and this is something we have to question but the thing deeply hurts me was that the biggest female star of our country is threaten like this on a national television and there are no charges and no arrest being done so far and it is done to save honour of a fictitious woman, how ironic these times are?”

Talking about his short film ‘Juice’ which points fingers at patriarchal society, Ghaywan said, “I have always seen this in my family or in other’s family that men are sitting in their living rooms enjoying their entitlement while women are suffering in the kitchen. It has passed on to my generation and I thought this is not right and it is not small town phenomenon. You see this everywhere.”

“I always had huge arguments with my sisters and cousin about how this is wrong and that’s when I decided to make this film. We all have sometime of the other been unconsciously patriarchal and being misogynistic so that is what this film is all about, the barriers that we have put in over the years”

When asked Ghaywan what are challenges in making a short film as compared to feature films, he said, “More than challenge, I feel it is liberating because in short film you make exactly what you want to make. In films, there is some kind of pressure about budgets and recovery of money but short films gives you that genuine democratic forum where you can explore theme that you want to make. There was no pressure on me to make this film but something came out of me strongly and that’s why I made this film”

“In those 13-14 minutes, you have to say so many things so that’s the real challenge for me as it really keeps you on your toes. It’s also faster in time and you can reach out to wider audience. And I don’t see much difference between a feature film and a short film. It just about a duration but concept wise, we all are trying to say something new, different and totally personal”

When asked her why he roped in Shefali Shah to play central character in his short film, Ghaywan said, “I wanted someone who will not give away the end that this is going to happen. A lot of my sisters and friends really look up to Shefali as strong woman since ‘Satya’, so I thought if she is commanding that power to influence large part of population and lot of women to come to understand what we are trying to say through this film and if it gives that championing through her personality so I thought why not and I feel she is phenomenal actress so I couldn’t asked for anything better”

"Juice", which showcases how a hot and humid summer evening unfolds to question the beliefs and practices that are ingrained in Indian society.

"Juice" features Shefali Shah and Manish Chowdhary. The film is being directed by Neeraj Ghaywan and presented by Royal Stag Barrel Select Large Short Films.

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