Remember Payal Malhotra from Hrithik Roshan’s debut film Kaho Naa.. Pyar Hai? The pretty actress has made her debut as a director with a short film titled Jihaad-e-Nafs, which focusses on social awareness for youngsters and their family. The film has been selected for Cannes Short Film Corner and will make it’s premiere at the festival between May 14 to 19.
Says Payal, “This is a film about a 14-year old whose parents do not give much attention to him. Because of his emotional state of mind and voice, external forces are behind him. They try to take advantage of the situation to full-fill their personal motives. It’s not about wrong parenting but how situations can work against us.”
The actress who has also acted in Hum Tumhaare Hain Sanam says that teenagers between the age group of 13 to 19 years should be given a lot of attention because they are vulnerable. “If you are unable to look after them, there are other forces who are waiting to take advantage of their situation. Every day we hear news about terrorism and how they take advantage of their innocence,” she says.
“I make films from my heart and I had not expectations about this film that it will reach everywhere,” says the actress who has also acted in the film along with her son Rahul Malhotra, (who had played the younger version of Ranbir Kapoor in Barfi!) and Pankaj Mishra.
Payal who is excited about her film being screened at Cannes says that she is pretty excited about her film making it to the international film festival. “I had just sent the film and wasn’t sure how and where the film will be screened. But I am happy that my film will be screened.” But she is not being able to make it to the festival.
Explaining her absence, she says, “Sadly, I won’t be able to make it because I wanted to celebrate the film with my family. I was looking forward to the screening. I had two passes but my son is below 15 years so he won’t be able to watch the film. And my husband cannot accompany me because he is not part of the crew. We are giving the festival a miss.”
Jihaad-e-Nafs has also won the Movie of the Month at the BAFTA movie theatre competition, the finals of which will held in January 2019. She says, “It’s amazing that I am making short films because it’s a great time for the medium. People are attempting this genre and it’s getting a great response.”
Any plans to get into features and she says, “I do not have the resources to make feature films. I haven’t planned anything.”