The evening started with the 17 minute film which we all watched with keen interest even before the discussion began. The latter half of the evening was spent with Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury, Abir Chatterjee and Padmapriya in conversation with Balaji Vittal who shared their stories of acting, being directed, the story, the script and what they see in the future for short films.

Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury popularly known as Tony da spoke about the making of the film and why he chose this short format to tell a romantic story set in the 1990. The film designed like a feature was based on his own experience in his younger days which he translated into a film.

As rightly pointed out in the interactive session there was a reference of the film Breathless by Jean Luc Goddard and the character played by Belmondo. Anirrudha known for his Bengali award winning films and the Bollywood hit ‘Pink’ answered every question and explained why he chose a Tamil Brahmin girl played by Padmapriya and a shy, quiet boy played by Abir Chatterjee for this film.

Balaji Vittal was the perfect person to engage the others in an interesting conversation on stage. He brought a spark to the conversation between Padmapriya and Abir Chatterjee who appeared to be very compatible co-actors. As for Abir, a popular Bengali film actor, who found it refreshing to work in the short film and both he and Padmapriya hoped to be there in the feature film, if made.

Padmapriya Janakiraman a popular actress and most recently known for ‘Crossword’, a Malayalam anthology film, and Hindi film ‘Chef’ excitedly spoke about how on the second day of her shoot, due to her mood swings, things were getting delayed, but her co-actor Abir helped her out. She went on to answer questions from the audiences where she explained how short films were different from feature films but had their own charm and market. A film like Maya could be seen over and over again on the net and at any time one wanted which was an advantage. While speaking about the popularity of Netflix in our present generations it was just a novel way of reaching the audience. Moreover as the digital format was popular it would remain there for a longer time and a quick search would lead you to the film.

When asked about the commercial side of short films like Maya, Aniruddha rightly said that not everything can be measured with economics and it was because of the support of certain companies that it was possible to make such short films. Being familiar with other kinds of films from advertisement to feature films, he wanted to take on the challenge to speak to the audience cinematically, in a mere 17 minutes.