Baba Azmi’s short film wins Award but feature film held up

Baba Azmi
MUMBAI: While Shabana Azmi’s cinematographer-brother Baba Azmi’s first feature film as director Man Bawra is held up by Farhan Akhtar’s inability to play the lead, Baba has quietly gone and made a hardhitting short film entitled Conesty.

This week Conesty won Baba the award for the Best Short Film at the Nasik International Film Festival. Proud sister Shabana just couldn’t hold back her tears.

Beams Baba, "She has been urging me to direct a film forever. But you know how I am. My script for a  feature has been ready for two years. But it has not taken off for various reasons. In the meanwhile I decided to  make this short film of 21 minutes. I am overwhelmed by how well it has been received. It certainly encourages me to  get on with my feature film."

Conesty is a dialogue between a kidnapper played by a theatre actor Shakir Khan  and his victim played by an NSD actor Omi.

Explains Baba, "There’s no word like Conesty. But I thought it described the whole cult of conning quite comprehensively. It’s a story of trust and betrayal. When Vishal Vijay Kumar who wrote the film Thanks, Maa came to me with the script I was quite taken up and decided to shoot it. Believe me making a  short film was  quite a learning experience."

Interstingly like most cinematographers turned director Baba has chosen  not to do  the cinematography of Conesty. "To handle both direction and cinematography would have been a bit too much. My assistant Shibu has manned the camera. When I make my feature film I won’t  be doing the cinematography either."

Baba has been ready with the script for his feature film Man Bawra  for two years. He is reluctant to discuss why it hasn’t taken off.

But it seems Farhan Akhtar whose Excel Entertainment was to produce the film, was unable to accommodate Baba’s film in his schedule.

Says a source close to Baba, "Ghar ki baat hai. Therefore sensitive. Baba not only wanted Farhan to produce Man Bawra he also wanted Farhan to play the lead. Farhan unfortunately couldn’t accommodate Baba’s film into his schedule. He first got busy with acting in his sister’s Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara and directing Don 2 and then chose to act in Run Milkha Run. Baba in the meanwhile is waiting for Farhan to free himself to work in Man Bawra. So far Farhan has been unable to do so."

At the moment Baba’s script is pending in Farhan’s production company.

Says Baba, "I’d rather not talk about. It will be made when it’s destined to be made."