Achievements

‘I was impressed to see Devansh ready with his dialogues at 6 in the morning’

Apeejay Noida student Devansh Vaish debuts in ‘Pilibhit,’ a short film selected for many International film festivals. Devansh’s mother Reena shares how her son has effortlessly picked up the craft of acting.

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On the sets of Pilibhit: Devansh and his mother Reena with actor Raj Arjun

Pilibhit, an Uttar Pradesh district, home to several flute-makers, is also one of the most poverty-stricken. Famous for tiger reserves, it periodically witnesses a number of deaths related to man-animal conflict. This bone-chilling reality forms the backdrop of Pilibhit, a 23-minute short film, directed by debutant filmmakers Ashutosh Chaturvedi and Pankaj Mavchi.

Presented in the form of a tale narrated to a young boy, the short film has already made a mark at the Cinelebu International Film Festival, New York Indian Film Festival, Indian Film Festival of Melbourne, Cerdanya Film Festival and Indian Film Festival Stuttgart, to name a few. Devansh Vaish, a class 5 student of Apeejay School, Noida, debuting in the film, plays Adil, to whom his grandmother (actress Jayshree Arora) relates the account of fear in the region.

In an interview, Devansh’s mother, Reena Vaish, a former Assistant Branch Manager at ICICI Bank, shares how her son has effortlessly picked up the craft of acting at a very young age.

What did Devansh’s breakthrough as a child actor look like?

Prior to casting in Pilibhit, Devansh has been part of several fashion shoots and has given many auditions for ad films and commercials. I feel he is naturally gifted to perform theatre. I, too, was part of several plays at school and college, and I feel that he may have imbibed an interest in the field genetically. He is currently not receiving any training for acting, though he often likes to mug up some movie dialogues and rehearse them at home.

When he got a chance to perform as an actor in Pilibhit, he proved himself. It was a refreshing experience for him and me as we did not know if he would be able to deliver what was expected from him. I was impressed to see his commitment and dedication when he got up at 6 in the morning, ready with all his dialogues.

How has been his experience of shooting?

Since this was a short film, it was shot for 3-4 days in Pilibhit. I was accompanying him and most shoots were scheduled early in the morning. Devansh was very excited about it. The only thing he told me is to not be around him during his performances so that he can do everything independently. I used to watch him act from afar and was confident that he would do his part very well. He didn’t have much stress or pressure throughout the shoot.

According to you, what are the challenges child actors must be prepared for?

A child has to be academically strong for pursuing acting as s/he may have to miss classes at school for shoots. They must be prepared to cope up. Apart from this, I feel that parents should be able to handle their child at their highs and lows. At this age, children should act only if they are naturally enjoying it. There shouldn’t be any pressure or sense of competition.

How do you motivate your son in his acting journey?

I have always advised Devansh to enjoy the journey. Every day won’t promise you success in this field and one should be prepared to work in all conditions. My only advice to him is, if he thinks he hasn’t done something good enough, we can do it again together. There are so many auditions he went for but he didn’t get selected. There have been rejections but he has taken it in stride. He has gone through his share of lows but has been able to move forward by being resilient.

What would be your aspiration for him?

I have always encouraged him to follow this line of work. Devansh also seems interested in fashion, so he may do more shoots and shows.

Mrini Devnani is Senior Correspondent (Newsroom). She covers student achievements, interviews and contributions for the website. She was a former Correspondent covering Edutech for the India Today Group, and has a passion for Social Media and Digital Marketing. You can reach her at [email protected]

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