Debutant filmmaker Randeep Jha is overwhelmed with the response to Halahal
Thirty-four-year-old debutant filmmaker, Randeep Jha couldn’t have asked for a better launchpad. With a script written and produced by Zeeshan Quadri of Gangs of Wasseypur fame and with actors like Sachin Khedekar and Barun Sobti on board, Halahal, that released on September 21 on Eros Now, had to be the gripping thriller that it is. From being a drama teacher in Delhi, this boy from Bihar, who was born and brought up in Rajasthan, has come a long way. Excerpts:
Are you happy with the reactions to Halahal?
I am super happy with the reactions and am flooded with calls from friends, family and industry. This increases the pressure to come up with even better films in the future.
How has the journey been in Bollywood so far?
I was involved with Barry John’s theatre group and his Theatre in Education initiative, where I taught drama. The whole process was an overwhelming experience where I could exploit a whole range of emotions and experiment with new ideas, turning them into scripts and staging them. When Barry shifted to Mumbai, after a point, I felt that I must shift to Mumbai and learn filmmaking since that’s a bigger platform.
Since I had no experience or training in filmmaking, I decided to come to Mumbai in 2008 to understand the process. I was very sure about whom I wanted to work with and assist. My first break came by way of assisting Dibakar Banerjee in Shanghai. I was lucky to assist Anurag Kashyap in Ugly, Raman Raghav and now, Mukkabaaz. My debut short Kartaa got me noticed, and when I got the offer to direct Halahal, it was a momentous occasion in my life.
How was it directing Sachin Khedekar?
He comes with such rich experience and quickly gives you what you want. He is a stalwart in Marathi film and theatre world, but still, he is ready to explore and try out new things as an actor. He is an extremely disciplined and committed artiste who never loses his composure.
And what about Barun Sobti?
Well, we are of the same age, and he had so much confidence and conviction in me. Barun respects others’ views and listens and discusses scenes very seriously. He gets very involved and has a natural flair for acting.
What are your future projects?
Nothing is concrete as of now, but I love making all kinds of cinema and wish to make a superhero film too, someday.