Mumbai, May 10 (IANS) Actor Rajesh Tailang, who plays the lead in the new short film “Zoya”, which addresses the importance of protecting wildlife and the mother nature, says that it is high time we take the conversation on nature conservation seriously.
Directed, produced and written by Sahirr Sethhi, the film was shot in 2015 and it premiered at 2016 Palm Springs International ShortFest. The film also travelled to several international short film festivals.
Asked about what interested him to be part of the film, Rajesh told IANS: “Acting is my first love and wildlife is second. I go to forest tours, watch a lot of documentary on wildlife and read a lot about nature conservation et cetera. It is one of the subjects that constantly fascinate me, apart from acting. So when Sahhir came with the story, and told me they were planning to shoot at Kanha Tiger Reserve in MP, I was excited than ever to be part of the story. Besides, it is an important story that can potentially create awareness about nature conservation.”
The actor added: “When we were making the film in 2015, we never thought that in our lifetime the world will go through the phase that it is right now. We can clearly see how the earth is healing, how the trees, rivers, animals are living happily. We can see how the pollution level has gone down and the sky looks blue than ever. This is the time when we understand and change our lifestyle keeping nature in mind. I think having a discussion on nature conservation is more relevant now than ever.”
The short film also features Manjot Singh and Geeta Agrawal Sharma. The story revolves around a missing tiger from a forest and how a Zoologist set his journey to find the missing tiger named Zoya.
Although he is a fan of wildlife, Rajesh mentioned how the life of a conservationist is filled with risk in every single day on the field.
The “Delhi Crime”-famed actor said: “It is not as fascinating as it looks in a documentary we watch on TV. We romanticise the whole thing of staying in the forest, watching tigers et cetera, but when we went for the shoot of the film, we realised how risky it was. Once Jim Corbett said that the tiger is always watching you. When we saw a fresh pug mark at the riverside, and the guide told us that the tiger had just crossed the area 20 minutes ago — and that is why the deer and the monkeys were behaving in a certain manner — I was scared. We were told that the tiger must be nearby because he came to drink water here!”
“Zoya” is available for viewing on MUBI India app.