Canada based Writer-director Yasar Shaikh brings an unusual tale of greed and money titled Choice Is Yours. The film is shot online on Zoom amidst lockdown citing Covid -19. The film stars Siddhant Issar, Kanishka Soni, Dilahad Patel, Anagha P and Prachi Hada.
While sharing an interesting trivia, writer-director Yasar says, “I remember the faculty in last semester of my film school mentioning online content will replace every existing media, I admit that sounded too farfetched then. Around a decade later, we are not alone filming for online exhibition but directing online. Choice Is Yours was conceptualised realising how Covid19 compelled us to realise and rethink our perspective towards wealth and relationships.
“If we look around, it’s not basic necessities that fans the greed within us or for someone like Karan, but it’s the greed to chase an illusion that you may call MAYA, both being critical characters of the film,” he adds.
Talking about the actors, he says, “Kanishka Soni, a popular film and television actress and a friend was among the first selected to play an intense character, being a versatile actress, I knew she was the perfect choice. Kanishka shared her earlier short film with Siddhant Issar, and we did not look beyond him to play Karan. Siddhant is a talented actor, his professionalism, dedication, and devotion make him director’s favourite. His character has different shades and he executed them with such ease that viewers will find him a competition to many Bollywood names.”
“Kanishka also introduced another actress Anagha, although making debut, her presence and performance reflects maturity while she plays Dr. Prajakta. An important character Bhakti is played by Prachi Hada, an actress / model passionate about her work, Prachi’s diction is her distinguishing feature. We struggled to get Maya, and after some search found super talented Dilshad Patel, that was apt for the role.
Talking further on the challenges, Yasar reveals, “My initial plans were to visit India for filming, limited with time, we did online preproduction, conducted multiple online workshops with every actor, camera team and art department. The co-operation that I received from actors and crew in India is an experience that I can treasure and lack words to express the feeling. Appreciating the time difference between Canada and India, actors and crew started workshops early morning so that it was not late in the night for me. I remember when prepping the scenes with camera crew, they arrived early to block the scenes with me. If it was not for our creative producer Vijay Menon, and Line producer Vinod Dalvi, this online filming would not be possible. My sincere thanks to them and respect for their hard work.”
The film is shot by ace cinematographer Javed, who has earlier shot with Bollywood stars such as Bipasha Basu, Karishma Kapoor and Emraan Hashmi to name a few. It is edited by Chaitanya Tanna, the sound is designed by Sona Balam, who is an experienced and qualified Hollywood sound designer/re-recording mixer. His passion for sound can only be believed if witnessed. He volunteered to travel to Mumbai before restrictions were implemented and evaluated sound studio’s locally for the post. Besides this, he has also co-produced the film.
Choice Is Yours is produced by Sukhwinder Singh Sekhon from Canada and will be releasing soon in April 2021.