The Mystery Behind Shaan Vyas’s Natkhat Starring Vidya Balan And Sanika Patel Being Replaced By Shameless For Oscars 2021- EXCLUSIVE

Was Shaan Vyas’s Natkhat Replaced By Keith Gomes' Shameless For Oscars 2021? Read the exclusive interview!

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The Mystery Behind Shaan Vyas’s Natkhat Starring Vidya Balan And Sanika Patel Being Replaced By Shameless For Oscars 2021- EXCLUSIVE
All of the media was abuzz a few days ago with reports that Shaan Vyas’s excellent short film Natkhat on the normalization of misogyny had been replaced by Keith Gomes’ Shameless as India’s entry for the Oscars 2021 in the Live Action Short Film category. But Vyas has another story to tell. When I  contacted him he firmly refuted reports of his film being out of the Oscar race. “I think it was an error and as far as I know, they've fixed it. We are all eligible and in the race.

I asked Shaan what kind of an error? “ I am not sure of what kind of error. But suffice to say, as far as I know, the Academy's shortlist for shorts comes out straight in February now. There is no official entry from India for shorts since the eligibility criteria is very different.”

Vyas further adds, "I'm surprised at reports as in fact, Natkhat won "best film" at Best of India Short Film Festival, is eligible for Oscar qualification and very much in the race to the Oscars 2021. The Oscar Shortlists Announcement only comes out in Feb 2021."

Shaan Vyaas’ Natkhat, a short film produced by Ronnie Screwvala’s RSVP, deserves a deep and attentive dekko just for being what it is: an unflinchingly brutal critique of the male gaze. The setting is some kind of a mofussil North Indian backwater where the musk of masculinity can be smelt all the way from the children’s school to their parents’ bedroom. The main characters are a little alert, vulnerable and there is a thoroughly corruptible little boy named Sonu (Sanika Patel) who hears and sees the female gender being abused everywhere.

In less than half an hour of playing time Natkhat walks us through a complex, ugly and morbid maze of mardangi and how it spreads its tentacles in the male gender from a very young age. Vidya Balan validates every moment of her screen presence. But the film belongs to little Miss Sanika Patel who plays Sonu with such heartbreaking sensitivity.  It takes a woman to let a man know how to respect women. Natkhat wins our unconditional respect for its validation of matriarchy as a pertinent antidote to male toxicity. If only every woman had Vidya Balan’s strength of will!

Has Vyas thought of turning it into a feature film? “ I think it works most effectively as a short. Never imagined it as a feature.”

Image Source: Instagram/balanvidya
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