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Shuttlecock Boys All Set to Screen at Chicago South Asian Film Festival
- Amanda Sodhi           Let us know what you think about this story

Director and screenwriter Hemant Gaba’s film Shuttlecock Boys is all set to have its international premiere at the Chicago South Asian Film Festival. The film has also been selected for screening at the International Film Festival Ahmedabad, Independent South Asian Film Festival in Seattle and South Asian Film Festival of Australia. The film previously screened at Jaipur International Film Festival where it was nominated for Best Up-Coming Film & Best Debut Film, Himachal Film Festival in Shimla, and Narmad International Film Festival in Surat, Gujarat.

Starring Aakar Kaushik, Manish Nawani, Alok Kumar and Vijay Prateek, Shuttlecock Boys was made with a nominal budget of 35 lakhs/3.5 million INR generated through personal savings and loans from the director’s friends and family.

“I embarked on the journey of making my debut feature film which is synonymous to the protagonists journey in the film,” said Gaba. “We shot on more than 18 locations in just a span of 22 days in New Delhi, Gurgaon and Noida. I decided to work with non-actors to give the film a realistic feel and also because of limited resources. The decision to shoot the film handheld was to give it a rustic feel and to capture the camaraderie of these four friends in an intimate way. Our whole crew was first timers and we all had the energy and passion to make a film.”

Gaba’s film revolves around the lives, successes and failures of four friends who hail from lower middle class backgrounds in Delhi—the one thing that unites the four of them is their love for badminton. The friends question whether they should accept life as is or chase dreams—finally, they embark on an eventful journey that changes the course of their lives and careers.

“I wrote a story about four boys from Delhi’s middle class who wants to be entrepreneurs,” said Gaba, who happened to have worked in the software industry for seven years before transitioning into filmmaking. “After being stuck in 9 to 6 monotonous jobs myself for few years, I realized that lot of people including me actually want to do something on their own in lives instead of being succumbed to the slavery jobs. But it is very tough to muster the courage to follow the heart that leads to the road to uncertainty. The middle class of India has always taught their children to stick to secure jobs and not take any risks. I wanted to create an experience of the energy and vulnerability of the youth who want to take the less traveled road in making their career choices. The kind of friendship the four protagonists share in Shuttlecock Boys also comes from my own growing up years.”

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