Pawan Mandakale, aged ten years, has made his acting debut in a short film Aamer. The film has been presented by Zoya Akhtar and her assistant Amira Bhargava has directed it. Pawan and his elder brother live with his grandmother who is a daily wage worker; his father recently passed away and the mother had abandoned them sometime ago. When we asked if he wants to become like one of Khans when he grows up, he said, “No, I want to be like Varun Dhawan when I grow up.”
Zoya was approached by the makers of Humaramovie to recommend one of her assistants for a directorial debut, and she nominated Amira, who has been working with Zoya from the past 3 years. Amira had earlier assisted Mira Nair and Sujoy Ghosh. ‘Shor se Shuruat’ is the theme on which 7 short films have been made, presented by various directors. The story for her film required a kid, so the casting director, Nandini Srikent, asked Amira to go to the shelter home and find the right person for the role. 10 year old Pawan immediately stole Amira’s heart and they decided to cast him.
When we asked Amira what Pawan’s reaction was to it, she said, “He didn’t have any reaction, he just did what his caretakers asked him to do.”
And was he excited when he saw himself on the big screen? “He was shy earlier and he didn’t wanted his friends at the shelter home to see. But he loved the attention he got at MAMI.”