Khayali Pulav marks Prajakta Koli’s maiden Innings in acting
The film navigates between her struggles as an amateur handball enthusiast to her triumph in breaking hoary stereotypes and traditional archetypes associated with womankind.
Fresh off her participation in Michelle Obama’s Dear Class Of 2020 and Creators For Change global initiatives, India’s foremost female content creator, Prajakta Koli, who also goes by the moniker Mostly Sane is gearing up her debut in the cinematic ecosphere. Titled ‘Khayali Pulav’, the short film featuring Koli is written and directed by Tarun Dudeja and produced by One Digital Entertainment and released a couple of days back on her (YouTube channel).
Essaying the role of the lead female protagonist, Koli’s character is based on a 17-year-old small town girl who instead of focussing on her government school education, pursues a vocation in sports. The film navigates between her struggles as an amateur handball enthusiast to her triumph in breaking hoary stereotypes and traditional archetypes associated with womankind.
Set against the rural landscape of Haryana, the film was shot in real life locations with real life characters. Shot over two days in a remote village of Majari in the Jhajjar district, the film runs for a duration of 24 minutes. With grassroot level girl empowerment forming the crux of the narrative, the film subjectively touches upon themes like inevitability of freedom of choice, banishment of archaic prejudices and importance of street hustle.
Film and theatre actor Yashpal Sharma who has films like Lagaan, Ab Tak Chappan, Gangs of Wasseypur, Hazaron Khwaishein Aisi, Gangajal to his credit, plays the lead male protagonist of the film essaying the role of a sports teacher who further leverages Koli’s on-screen depiction.
Well known casting director Mukesh Chhabra, who also marks his directorial debut with late Sushant Singh Rajput’s last film Dil Bechara, has helmed the casting while Manoj Kumar Khatoi of Jawaani Janeman, Notebook, Mitron, Budhia Singh Born To Run fame is the DOP of the film.
Prajakta Koli states, “Growing up and then through my everyday interactions I noticed how prejudiced we are as a society when it comes to girls and women in general. With this film it’s my small contribution to the society at large to facilitate change at whatever level I can and influence mindsets positively. It’s amazing to essay this young girl who knows her dream is too scandalous for the dwelling she is raised in but her forward thinking temperament to rectify a generalized mindset has enabled her to become resilient and determined. The film is a beautiful reminder of how dreams, especially in small towns, are often realised through sports. It’s also a reminder of how precious the freedom to live your life the way you want to is, how even the seemingly simple act of being able to wear shorts becomes a complicated mission for a young girl. The act of being a sportsperson is her excuse to live as a free woman who isn’t defined by the opinion of others, and confidently dress up in shorts baring her legs in a society that expects her to cover up.”
Gurpreet Singh, Founder, One Digital Entertainment states, “The raw passion and dedication that Prajakta Koli has brought to the entire project is commendable. There were so many instances of her getting gravely injured during the filming but she never gave up and worked on her stamina. To prepare for her role she did undergo dialect and accent training in the village for 2 weeks and to get into the skin of the character she stayed at the village with the other inmates to make her character representative and understand their lifestyle and mentality. In Fact there was no makeup used for any looks in the film as we wanted to keep it very real and relatable. She is actually a one take actress and incredibly talented and I’m sure she has a great future waiting for her in Bollywood if she decides to pursue it full time.”
With over 5.4 million subscribers on YouTube and over 2.2 million followers on Instagram, Prajakta Koli aka MostlySane is a household name acknowledged for narrating relatable comic skits that have a strong connect with viewers. Known for being an active campaigner for socially relevant youth centric issues, she tackled subjects like body image and online bullying with “Shameless” as part of her campaign #iPledgeToBeMe which she launched on World Mental Health Day in 2016. Being a global ambassador for YouTube's Creators For Change, she threw light on trolling, female subjugation and homophobia through “No Offence” which was showcased on International Tolerance Day at the United Nations headquarters in New York. In 2018 Prajakta was seen in WhatsApp’s first ever TVC which addressed the importance of not spreading fake news.
Later in the same year she partnered with YouTube for Social Impact Girl’s Education campaign, with Instagram on their Safer Internet Week campaign and One.org for their Girl Education campaign. In 2019 she was invited by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for their annual Goalkeepers Summit. Recently India’s foremost female content creator announced Pretty Fit, a light-hearted six-episode fitness-based chat show featuring Kareena Kapoor Khan, Sanya Malhotra, Malishka Mendonsa, Mithila Palkar, Neha Kakkar, Sumukhi Suresh. Being one of the first creators in the world to interview American technology veteran, Susan Wojcicki, CEO of YouTube, Pretty Fit also marked a first for the 25-year-old digital superstar who will become India’s first content creator to have her own YouTube Originals. Prajakta was part of Unite a 24 live streamathon organised by Call to Unite and Room To Read to promote education amongst children during this pandemic and included global personalities like George Bush, Bill Clinton, Oprah Winfrey, Julia Roberts, Jennifer Garner and many more!
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