By Faz Zia
Teeshay Shah is an Indian actor/host/filmmaker currently based in Los Angeles. Back home in India he has starred in commercials, TV shows and movies. His last project was as a host on Star network for Indian cricket. His passion is cinema and he loves reading about filmmaking and watching movies. He is a trained dancer and martial artist.
Q: Why this idea came to mind?
Teeshay: I have been thinking of making a short film since a year but i just couldn’t get the right subject for it. I didn’t want my first directorial project to be just any routine story. I wanted it to resonate, be real and yet entertain at some levels. Sometime this year i came across this incredible story of a man who was a refugee. I had never heard an account of somebody that moved me and shook me as a person. Thats when i dug deep, did my research and came up with this short.
Q: Tell us about the Story line?
Teeshay: Hiraeth is a short film whose story revolves around a refugee of war. This humanizing story briefly reveals some of the inner complexities of living outside one’s home country and highlights the struggle many refugees face when trying to make decisions in the best interest of their family. Hiraeth, true to its definition, is about more than mere homesickness; it’s about a deep connection one feels to their homeland and a longing to return to a place which is impossible to return to
Q: What sort of Challenges you faced?
Teeshay: The research on the subject and writing was the biggest challenge. Ofcourse a lot happens when a country is hit by war. But i had to tell everything in 15-20 minutes. I refined the story multiple times and wrote 4 drafts. And once i had the film on paper the casting for my lead character was very difficult. I needed an actor based in Los Angeles who speaks arabic, has a distinct look and looks like a young father. I stumbled upon Ahmed’s profile and that was the time i knew he was the right fit for hasan’s character.
Q: What am I looking for?
Teeshay: This film is made with honesty right from the writing till completion. I have tried to telll an important and a socially relevant story of our times. I hope the audience sees it and connects with it and most importantly i wish this film reaches every corner of the globe.This short film is not made for any material gains. However, if we do win at festivals that would be great and amazing for the film and the cast and crew.
Q: Any Future plans?
Teeshay: My first priority is my short “Hiraeth”. The journey for which is going to be year long. I want to live with it and enjoy every moment of it.