HT Cafe

Had to engage audience with one character: Pooja

- Abigail Banerji abigail.banerji@hindustant­

Having been in the industry for over a decade, as an assistant director on several Bollywood projects like Fukrey (2013), Dil Dhadakne Do (2015), along with web series like Mirazapur (2018) and Bambai Meri Jaan, Pooja Kadam’s transition to direction was “inevitable”. Her debut film, The Calling, recently won the Best Female Director award at the 10th Goa Short Film Festival.

Kadam says, the film was “an experiment”, adding, “I wrote and shot this film during the second lockdown. I am excited to have won the award and it’s doing really well as it’s doing the rounds of the film festival circuit.”

Starring Sayani Gupta, who “carried the entire film on her own”, Kadam says, “As a director, this film was a challenge as it was shot in one place, with one character having a phone conversati­on. I had to find a way to keep the audience engaged and at the edge of their seat with just one character [on the screen].”

She admits there were some “nerves” as she had written the script and wasn’t sure if “the story would translate the same on screen as it was on paper”. “In Bollywood, there are big crews and a big budget, and so directing my own film was a 100% different. We had

limited people on board due to the lockdown restrictio­ns, so, people had to double up on roles. In big-budget films, everyone works in their own department­s with their blinders on. This didn’t happen on this film’s set. The crew came together to make this film because of their love for the film and the script,” she ends.

 ?? ?? Pooja Kadam with the award*
Pooja Kadam with the award*
 ?? ?? A poster of The Calling
A poster of The Calling

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