Metroplus

Behind ‘Sheeshmahal’, a film on a film fest

The 'Sheeshmahal' team

The 'Sheeshmahal' team  

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Centred around the Children’s film fest, 'Sheeshmahal' has been a labour of love for its independent film maker and his team

HYDERABAD: An idea that was seeded 28 months ago is finally nearing completion — an anthology of four stories connected with the International Children’s Film Festival. Made with the financial help of friends and family members, the film Sheeshmahal captures the authentic flavour of the festival.

Sheeshmahal takes an independent look at the experiences of participants from different states. “The best way to capture the real flavour of the fest was to shoot the film during the fest itself; no amount of set designing can replicate the mood. The atmosphere itself lends to a very good mood-building scene,” says the director of the movie Sarath Kumar (popularly known as Sashi).

The rough script envisioned 5 days, 4 people and the events that revolved around them. The film was conceived as a small budget movie so Sashi didn’t think the cost would go over Rs 25 lakh despite most of the crew working for no money. The Sheeshmahal shooting didn’t go beyond 27 days with nearly 20 new actors. “We did a guerrilla styled shoot at many locations in Hyderabad with a 5D set up, without any additional equipment, conventional lighting setup or production setup and the DOP — V.S. Ganashekhar handled the scenes very beautifully,” he adds.

The title Sheeshmahal doesn’t simply indicate it was shot in the theatre, “but is a metaphor. The movie ends at Sheeshmahal and the metaphor is that a curious rag-picker always stood outside Prasads Multiplex wanting to know what is behind the huge glass walls of the multiplex,” explains the film-maker.

Sashi is confident that even if he fails as a filmmaker, Sheeshmahalthe visuals and the music will hold Sheeshmahal up. “We have exploited the city’s beauty; we have captured unseen angles of the city’s most popular landmarks and of places which we pass by but never bothered to pause and pose,” says Sashi as he introduces his crew who shot the film in the Panavision camera. Sheeshmahalwith music from Rahul Ram of Indian Ocean band and Piyush Mishra, the movie’s audio he says is even more enriching. “Everything happened by word of mouth. Or rather should I say accidently? I was looking for a pure Hindi track and I happened to discuss it with Rajiv Ravi ( Dev D, Gulaal, Gangs of Wasseypur fame). He asked me for a rough cut DVD and even before I could dream of getting any song writer-singer with the purest Hindi diction, I came to know that Piyush Mishra had agreed to write and sing for us,” recollects Sashi. The team is done with the shooting, editing and dubbing and is left with the final mixing of the film. “We ran out of funds and are looking at around Rs. 8 lakhs to complete the project. We are hopeful of funds flowing in soon,” says Sashi an ardent fan of Ram Gopal Verma, Mira Nair and the likes. Sashi plans to take the film to film festivals as well and is hoping for a June release this year.

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Printable version | Sep 22, 2019 1:49:02 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/centred-around-the-childrens-film-fest-sheeshmahal-has-been-a-labour-of-love-for-its-independent-film-maker-and-his-team/article8441682.ece

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