05 February, 2021: The latest short film, Natkhat starring actress Vidya Balan has just joined the race for the Oscars 2021 in the Best Short Film category.
As Vidya Balan stars in Natkhat alongside the child artist Sanika Patel, this movie now marks her debut in the industry as a producer. Directed by Shaan Vyas, famed for making movies like Masaan and Zubaan as well, it was co-produced with Ronny Screwvala.
Vidya’s response to this exciting news was seen through a post on Instagram, which reads,
“So so so thrilled that our film #NATKHAT is in the race for the #OSCARS2021 after a 2020 filled with prestigious international film festivals.”
Another post featured a snippet of her film which revolved around the life of a mother who tries to teach her son about gender equality and patriarchy through bedtime stories.
Along with the Oscar entry, this movie also premiered at Tribeca’s We Are One Film Festival last year on Youtube, which is a global film festival. The movie was also going to open the Indian Film Festival of Melbourne which was set to be hosted during October 23-30 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
With the majority of scenes shot in Harda, Madhya Pradesh and the rest in the interiors of Mumbai, this film featured an inexperienced cast who had no prior acting experience other than actress Vidya Balan.
Written by Annukampa Harsh and Shaan Vyas, this movie is the debut film of Sanika Patel, a girl, who was cast for the role of Sonu, a boy in the movie, breaking all gender stereotypes with this initiative.
With a run-time of 33 minutes, this movie has been featured in many prestigious film festivals, mostly premiered only due to Covid restrictions, and is now set to compete with other short films from around the world for Best Short Film in the Oscars. Meanwhile, the 93rd Academy Awards which was set to take place on February 28, is now scheduled to April 25 because of the ongoing pandemic.
Having received over 10 nominations in different film festivals and selections, this movie has been receiving a lot of praise and appreciation from critics worldwide for breaking the bounds of gender inequalities and patriarchy in Indian households.