Ssharad Malhotraa’s fans are in for a treat. The actor will be directing a short film called Prem, Gajra Aur Chilli Chicken soon. The actor has collaborated with Prateek Chakravorty, grandson of late film-maker Pramod Chakravorty, for the venture.
“I wanted to do something different. The idea to make a short film came to me from a few true incidents that took place in Mumbai. I thought it would make for an interesting subject. It’s a quirky comedy but it is also dark at the same time,” says Ssharad, who has been acting since the last 10 years.
The two have worked together before in the film Sydney With Love (2012), which Prateek had directed and share a great rapport. “I share an emotional connection with him as that film was our first project together. Collaborating on this short film with him as the producer and me as a director will be another first for us. My entire team is ready, and we will start shooting in a couple of days in Mumbai,” says the Banoo Main Teri Dulhann actor. Ssharad, who acted in another short film earlier this year, plans to send his directorial venture to various film festivals before releasing it online.
Although he had never planned to don the director’s hat anytime soon, it was the story of the film that got him on board. “I have three very successful TV shows to my credit which is why perhaps people feel that (his) turning a director has to be something really cool. That kind of pressure can be scary but I am not feeling any pressure. I never thought of becoming a director. Being an actor, you want to act all the time but the story of the short film compelled me to direct,” says says the Bharat Ka Veer Putra — Maharana Pratap actor. He and his team have been working on the project for the past six months.
In fact, the actor shares that the idea of the film came from his girlfriend Pooja Bisht. "Sometime back, Pooja had heard about this incident which had occurred and mentioned it to me. I got the idea from there and then started working on the script with my writer," he says.
The actor is eying the digital medium as well and wants to venture out in that direction soon. “I have done television shows for 10 years and I have done two feature films in my career, so in the future, I would love to do theatre or act in a web series. There is a lot of scope out there for digital content, and I want to explore that,” he says. He further adds "I call Prateek (Po (Kung-fu-Panda) and he is like brother from another mother and we have seen ups and down together".
Prateek, who shares a wonderful rapport with Ssharad, says that they are almost like family. "Ssharad was the main lead in my film “From Sydney With Love” (2012). Since then we have developed a bond like brothers. We have seen the miseries of our fall together and helped each other grow in our own space over the period of time. He reinvented himself on television in very versatile shows and I stand so proud of him as a brother. I hope our friendship remains one that lasts a lifetime," he says, adding, "Ssharad had narrated me a story last year which I found highly amusing, stunningly different, extremely quirky, raw and twisted and I loved it from the word go. The story was told and then he got on with his shoots and shows. I met him 4-6 months later and we were catching up, when I mentioned about my plans to produce short films and make then ready for festivals. He mentioned that he wanted to make a short film and the subject that he narrated was the film that he wanted to make. It was like destiny inked it for us to make together. I needed interesting short stories and he was making one. So it fell together in place and here we are making Prem, Gajra Aur Chilli Chicken. I am producing his first directorial debut."