The long haul for Oscars might just conclude for India as RSVP’s Natkhat featuring Bollywood star Vidya Balan is running the race. The short film ‘Natkhat’ starring Vidya Balan is one of the Indian films that are in the race for Oscar 2021 in the Best Short Film category.
Natkhat revolves around the life of a mother who tries to teach her son about patriarchy and misogyny prevalent around them. This short film is directed by Shaan Vyas which was premiered at Tribeca’s We Are One: A Global Film Festival. This film is going to be one of the many films that will be in the race for the Oscars. The makers of this short film too are excited to represent India. They took to Twitter to announce that they made it and Natkhat will reach every corner of the earth and tell the world that change begins at home.
The Indian short film on gender equality ‘Natkhat’ has brought India to the Oscar party after being highly acclaimed by international audiences. A short clip of the movie scene is making rounds on social media in which Vidya Balan is seen massaging her child’s head and having a conversation with him, what seems to start as an innocent conversation soon becomes a gut-wrenching and worrying one.
Vidya was born in Palghat, Kerala, India. Her family consists of her dad, P.R. Balan, who is the Vice-President of ETC Channel; mom – a home-maker, and an elder sister, Priya, who is married to Kedar. She also has an aunt by the name of Raji Raju.
She studied in St. Anthony’s Convent School, and thereafter in St. Xavier’s College from where she obtained a degree in Sociology. She then went on to obtain a Masters degree in Sociology from Bombay University. She also studied and performed in Prithvi Theaters’ workshops. Due to tradition of most Tamil-Iyer families, Vidya and her Priya learned Carnatic dance form during their early childhood days, but Vidya opted out as the dance classes took place early on Sunday mornings and as she is not an early riser.
Facing disappointment after being rejected by a Tamil producer, she nevertheless persisted until she got her first break with a Malyalam movie ‘Chakram’ opposite Mohanlal, however, the project was shelved, and she had to wait until 1998 to debut in a Surf Excel commercial. During 2003 she was signed-up to play a role in a Bengali movie ‘Bhaalo Theko’ opposite Joy Sengupta. This project was completed during the year 2006, and was a considerable hit.
In 2006 Vidya was approached by Vidhu Vinod Chopra during a pop-concert in Mumbai to play a lead role in ‘Parineeta’. She then had to undergo 17 make-up shoots and 40 screen tests before being chosen for this role. All this hard work did result in success as ‘Parineeta’ was very well received so much so that the Tamil producer, who had previously rejected her, invited her to appear in a ‘Dasavatharam’ opposite Kamal Hassan, and now it was Vidya’s turn to reject this offer which eventually went to ‘Asin’.
Apart from acting, Vidya occupies herself for supporting education for young Indians by promoting children’s’ books; is associated with Americans for Aids Research; with Hale House – that provides support and housing for children born with HIV and drug abuse; as well as hosting forums and attending events for Harvard Aids Institute.
When she was single, she was never involved in any scandal and claimed to get along well with both female and male friends. In 2012, she married producer Siddharth Roy Kapur. An ardent devotee of Bhagwan Shri Sai Baba, she makes it a point to attend Mandirs every Thursday. She is proficient in Tamil, Malyalam, Hindi, English, Bengali, and can also read Urdu.
Eyeing on a big feat with an Oscar, the short-movie takes on the delicate subject of gender-equality as shown in the scene running around a gruesome thought. Helmed by Shaan Vyas and written by Annukampa Harsh and Vyas, the movie was premiered on YouTube as part of the ‘We Are One: A Global Film Festival’. The Ronnie Screwvala produced film came out on June 2, 2020.
(Picture: Deccan Chronicle)