The year 2020 has not been great for many in the entertainment industry. Among the fortunate, though, is producer Shabinaa Khan, who co-produced 2020-Akshay Kumar-and-Kiara Advani-starrer, Laxmi Bomb.
Adding to Shabinaa’s fortune is Shameless, a 15-minute short film presented by her, which has made it to the 93rd Oscar Consideration in the “live action short film” category at the 2021 Academy Awards.
Shameless revolves around a work-from-home man who is trapped by an apologetic delivery girl, raising questions on the issues of entitlement, humanity and empathy towards the migrant class. Shameless stars Sayani Gupta, Hussain Dalal and Rishabh Kapoor. The sound for the film has been provided by Oscar-winner Resul Pookutty.
An excited Shabinaa talks about her association with Shameless as well as her journey in Bollywood.
She starts by talking about her collaboration with the director Keith Gomes. “Keith had worked as an assistant director for the 2010-comedy Heyy Babyy, for which I was the costume designer. And we stayed in touch since, for almost 15 years now. When he brought Shameless, I really liked the concept and was on board. Any content that is unique works for me. And when I initially heard the news of Shameless making it to the 93rd Oscar Consideration, I was really happy. It was a great feeling indeed!”
Incidentally, Shabinaa had started her journey as a costume designer for Salman Khan and has worked on various movies such as the 1997-comedy Chachi 420, 1998-films Kuch Kuch Hota Hai and Dil Se, and the 1999-film Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam and many more. She also co-produced films such as the 2012-action-film Rowdy Rathore and the 2015-action–drama Gabbar.
Most of the movies she has produced till date are remakes of hit South-Indian films. “I backed South films as the content was good,” she says matter-of-factly, adding, “Only content matters nothing else; language is not a barrier.”
Work so blessed
Elaborating on what made her change her line of work from costume designing to producing, she admits to always wanting to be a producer. “The transition was smooth, with no hiccups,” states Shabinaa, who says she sees herself as a creative producer. “I am involved right from deciding the script to costumes to the final result.” Will she don the hat of a costume designer again soon? “I don’t want to go back to costume designing unless some big project comes. Last I did it for Kamal Hassan when he did his first commercial,” she adds in recollection. So what next for Shabinaa? “I am reading a few scripts. Sanjay Leela Bhansali and I may plan to partner again in my next film Let’s see,” she says positively.
Applause from PC
On her Instagram post, Priyanka Chopra gave a shout-out to the short and wrote, “We love all of the amazing Indian filmmakers in the mix for the Academy Awards shorts category! Wishing everyone the best of luck! Excited to see more content from emerging Indian filmmakers take the global front (sic).”