Los Angeles filmmaker comes to Varanasi to shoot short film
Article published on Times of India
For the young director Aastha Verma, from Los Angeles, it is her short film ‘Last Rights’, that has brought her to Varanasi. The film that is set in the city, revolves around a young girl (played by actor Kanupriya Sharma of Piku fame) who comes to the city, to perform the last rites of her grandmother, which was her last wish. “It is the journey of a woman who has to fight the resistance of the patriarchal system that does not give a woman such rights,” says Aastha, explaining the story of the film.
Scene from the Short film titled Last Rights being shot at Nandeshwar Ghat (BCCL/ Unmesh Pandey)
The director, who has also made a short film The Unsung Feather, a struggle of an African-American girl against racialism, says, “We have been mainly shooting around ghats during our nearly four day schedule. Short films is a huge platform now and we intend to take the film to various film festivals. In addition to Kanupriya, actor Ved Thapar, last seen in the film Gully Boys, Sulakshna Khatri who played Mandavi in the Ramanand Sagar-directed Ramayan and Ajita Kulkarni of Lakhon Mein Ek teleshow fame, play significant roles in the film,” she says.
“It may be a timely film, but it is its timelessness, as well as its depths of compassion, that qualify it as a great one.”
Ved Thapar, who featured in teleshow Raja Aur Rancho, reveals that he took the help of his driver and rickshaw wala to get his dialect right. “I play a Banarasi character so when I came to Varanasi to shoot I checked with the pronunciation from driver who took me around the city. Even when I went shopping with Ajita Kulkarni on a rickshaw, I spoke some dialogues before him to ensure my accent was right. I also interacted with a lot of local people as I went for a workout at the Sigra Stadium in the mornings. This helped me to play the Banarasi character with conviction,” he says.