The makers of Kaali Peeli Tales recently unveiled the trailer of the anthology set to release on Amazon MiniTV. Written and directed by Adeeb Rais, the six short films show different shades of modern love, starring Vinay Pathak, Gauahar Khan, Sayani Gupta, Maanvi Gagroo, Soni Razdan, Hussain Dalal, Sharib Hashmi, Priyanshu Painyuli, Tanmay Dhanania, Sadiya Siddiqui and Adeeb Rais among others.
Adeeb Rais along with Soni Razdan, Sayani Gupta, Vinya Pathak, Maanvi Gagroo and Gauahar Khan gathered for a roundtable media conversation. The actors not only opened up about their short films but also talked about the industry and their creative process behind the scenes.
Talking about the sensitivity young filmmakers need to embrace, Adeeb Rais told, Filmibeat, "The Indian audience still takes the cinema very seriously, they do get influenced and that is the reality. Keeping that in mind, it is important that we be careful with what message we are putting out there."
Here are some excerpts of the conversation:
Everyone has been praising the script and I wanted to talk about that with Adeeb. As you said you took a while to finalise these stories and bring them to the screen. The subjects of the stories are rooted in the modern-day idea of love and romance, how did you make a conscious effort to make the stories more progressive?
That's true with every script you have to keep working on it till you are ready to shoot and there is always scope for it to get better and better. Even with the final draft when the actors jam together and there's always scope to fine-tune it. Even on sets alot of improvisation happens and that is part of the fun of it.
I think we had to update a couple of things only due to the pandemic, and early lockdowns that happened. I think it was when we started shooting for Gauahar's film, the restrictions had been placed. It was the first day of the shoot, basically, there were some real locations I wanted, which couldn't have happened in the lockdown. So that kind of change we needed to be made in the script. Creatively, over the past two years, not much has changed that drastically in terms of relationships so we were progressive enough originally. I don't think we needed to change the stories or the thought process too much but yes we kept working on it and bettering it.
Sayani Gupta was recently seen in the Netflix release Axone, putting her at the forefront of East-Indian representation. With more attention being brought to the topic due to the Olympics, what positive changes do you think are being incorporated into the industry?
I don't know how to answer your question because I am not from a Northeastern state but we are extremely proud of the achievements at the Olympics. The first name that comes to my mind is Mary Kom, when it comes to sports and honestly it really sad, because there is so much ignorance when it comes to the Northeastern states and people from there.
Vinay (Pathak) and I were actually a part of a film called Axone and that's when we were discussing the things that people from the northeastern state face on a day to day basis. There is so much ignorance and people don't even know the capital of the eastern states. After Corona, people were really badly treated and name called but suddenly after the Olympics, everyone was elated, rightly so.
But my thought and I saw many others writing on social media, that this should not go in other times. As a country, we should make efforts to know more and find out more about people from that part of the country. Of course, I think this Olympics will hopefully mark a change when it comes to the attitude towards people from Northeastern states but then again it's too early to say. I hope it changes honestly. We need more representation when it comes to films and other popular mediums, in storytelling and actors. There are terrific actors from the northeast and amazingly talented people and filmmakers. Hopefully, more representation will happen now.
Veteran actress Soni Razdan has been part of the industry for over four decades. We asked her about having to deal with the male gaze and presenting her opinion as a female artist. Have you ever had to object to a scene or refused to do one because it wasn't right from a female perspective?
I think as an actor you are really involved in the process. And when working with someone then these kinds of things continue to happen. Maybe in the past, a long time ago, there must have been times where I have objected and said that I don't feel like saying this for whatever reason. I don't remember specifically what that was but I do remember one incident where I found it weird but they were very accommodating to my request. There are very few instances where the director may feel otherwise. Actors are a part of the team when they immerse themselves in a role. So most directors are very open to that some may not be, but those days are really over. In the last ten years that I have worked, I have found directors who are open to suggestions.
Adeeb further added: I think it's time filmmakers are more responsible and progressive. I am sure sometimes, as a male director when you have a female artist expresses a different thought process you have to hear her out. There is a certain contribution that an actor does, which is why you want to work with them. They come in with certain experience and creative involvement, at least that is the reason why I want to work with the actors that I cast.
I think younger filmmakers have to be more responsible, keeping in mind how our audiences are. The Indian audience still takes the cinema very seriously, they do get influenced and that is the reality. Keeping that in mind it is important that we be careful with what message we are putting out there with our films.
Kaali Peeli Tales will premiere on Amazon's MiniTv on August 20, 2021.