Keekli Reporter, 6th August, 2018, Shimla
Award winning director of the film Ram Bharose, Aaryan Harnot’s latest short film titled Keel (कील) is based on the short story, written by the renowned author S R Harnot. The film has been shot in a span of just eight days in different locations of Shimla Hills. This movie will be released in Hindi and Pahadi Languages and is being produced by the Himachal’s Language, Art and Culture Department.
The movie’s real challenge was that the director worked with more than 300 schoolchildren, and being non-actors it was a unique experience to work with them. The director said, that this film was special for him because apart from these kids, few local villagers also worked in the film who saw a camera for the first time in their life and still they were so confident and natural in front of it. I was hesitant at first to work with non-actors but they proved me wrong with their natural performances.
The story revolves around a school kid, Kalmu — performed by Vishvesh, who hails from Shimla. The unique storyline highlights a story of nanga devta (नंगा देवता), where according to local tradition you have to thrash his idol with your own shoes and strike a nail to his chest if you want to curse someone for your selfish deeds. How it affects Kalmu so badly who is totally against this weird tradition is the USP of the story. Apart from this, theatre actors from Shimla showcase their talent through this film. Sanjeev Kumar from Solan and Vandana Thakur from Shimla will be playing Kalmu’s father and mother. Theatre actor Rawat and Bollywood actor Abhimanyu Pandey from Mumbai are also playing a crucial role in this film. Ashish Rana from Chandigarh is the cinematographer.
Aaryan said he always wanted to make a film on this subject which is written by his father but due to financial limitations he was waiting for someone to produce the film. Luckily, the Language, Art and Culture Department produced his film and with a small team of 18 crewmembers, he finished the film. He further added that they had to shoot the film in the interiors because of the subject of the story and it was no easy task. The remoteness of the area and inaccessible roads was challenging in itself as the heavy equipment had to be carried all the way, but despite all the struggles and hindrances, our project finally was completed in time.
Harnot hopes that this film would bring justice to the thought of the original story. Our main motive is to draw attention to our rich Dev culture and its tradition for which Himachal is known as a Dev Bhoomi.
The director plans to work with Himachal writers in the future as well to showcase their unique stories and local talent.