Himansh Kohli: Agar content acha na ho toh short film dikhti hi nahi

Actor Himansh Kohli’s short film Gahvara is set to premiere at the International Film Festival of South Asia (IFFSA) Toronto, and the whole team is on “cloud nine and very happy” that their short film made a place for itself.

Himansh Kohli talks about his short film Gahvara premiering at the IFFSA in Toronto
Himansh Kohli talks about his short film Gahvara premiering at the IFFSA in Toronto

“We have gained a lot of confidence after this. These days, there are so many films, movies, and songs released, agar content acha na ho toh short film dikhti hi nahi,” says the 33-year-old about going to the festival, which will be held from October 12 to October 22.

“I was always carried away with this thought process that there’s something strong coming for me, that will appeal to my audience because it would be different,” reflects Kohli, who is playing the main lead in the film.

He continues, “Nobody wanted to work with our director (Tariq Mohammad) in that short film because people don’t believe in you unless you show them something of what you’ve done, you have a lot of experience as a director. He has been a writer, so convincing people that writers can also be good directors was tough.”

Adding another feather to his hat, Kohli also took on the role of a producer for Gahvara, “It was a challenging experience as a producer,” he admits, adding, “Understanding a producer’s game is very different because you have to look after everything.”

Here, the actor-producer acknowledges the growing awareness of international film festivals among Indian audiences. “Now suddenly, there is a lot of awareness about these International festivals amongst the audiences. The film industry people always knew about them, but the general audience didn’t know much,” says Kohli, adding, “There are Indian films making a huge mark at various festivals, and they actually give a lot of recognition and acknowledgment by the general audiences. Otherwise, a short film would probably be treated as just a short film. Aap jitna bhi acha kaam karo, you still need something to back your project. There are a lot of other festivals that we have applied to. Let’s see what happens.”

Gahvara is a story of a boy called Farhan, who makes a new funeral bier to fulfil his grandmother’s last wish. The events that happens thereafter changes the boy’s life and perspective forever.

For the Yaariyan (2014) actor, known for his work in commercial cinema, Gahvara has been a transformative experience. “I have grown up in a completely commercial world of cinema. My work till now, including my films and music videos, has been super commercial,” he explains. “Many times, there are people in the industry who had a hesitation ki ‘Yeh toh commercial actor hai, art cinema mai Kahan se aasakta hai?’ But after this short film, this perception changed. Many said ki ‘Nahi, isme bhi acha lagraha hai.’ Nobody thought mai uss type ki film mai aasakti hu. So, kuch karke dikhaana padta hai pehle,” Kohli shares.

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