Swati Semwal’s short film explores women sexuality

Swati Semwal

Actor, scriptwriter and director Swati Semwal recently released her short film ‘Dildo Laa Rey’. The film explores women sexuality and stars newcomers Aanchal Sharma and Priyanka Arya. Swati tries to break the oppressive notions about women and their sexual fantasies through her film. 

She was recently seen in movies ‘Bareilly Ki Barfi’ and ‘Fanney Khan’ and was also a part of the historical biopic ‘Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi’ before stepping down from the project. 

In a candid chat with Surupasree Sarmmah, Swati talks about her new project, her inspiration behind the story and her experience working with new actors. 

How did direction happen to you?

I never thought I would get into direction. I was more into writing. It so happened that my partner and I
wrote my first film called ‘Frame’.

Though initially it was being directed by someone else, I eventually took over because I realised that the film wasn’t coming out the way I wrote it. However, I hadn’t thought about direction seriously until my first film, as an actor, ‘Bareilly Ki Barfi’ happened.

When I saw Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari, was when my confidence level boosted and I knew I could do it. That’s how I got into direction.

Tell us about ‘Dildo Laa Rey’...

The film is based on a small town and is about two sisters from a conservative family in search of a dildo. What we have seen in movies that talks about sex or sex toys have always been with a lot of sleaze. What I wanted to do with this film was to desexualise everything and show it in an innocent manner. ‘Dildo La Rey’ is about women sexuality.

How did the concept come about?

I am from a small town and my best friend is from a conservative family. There is a lot of cultural difference between us. The things that I was okay with, she used to shy away. I found that really cute. I used to make up weird stories to embarrass her. When I got to know about sex toys and I told her about it, she didn’t believe it and rubbished it. That innocence in hee
stayed with me. That’s how the concept germinated.

Your short film talks about women sexuality. How important do you think it is to talk about or explore a topic like this especially in India where sex is still considered a taboo topic?

I feel exploring the topic of women sexuality is very important now and it should be absolutely normal. Women are as human as men. When men can talk about it without any hesitation, why not women? I don’t understand why there is a curtain of that sort.

You are also an actor. How was your experience working behind the camera?

To be honest, I never had to actually struggle for acting, it came to me naturally. However, when I took up directing, I realised the massive amount of work that goes into it. From conceiving the product to delivering it, it’s your baby. This gives me a lot of boost and thrill. I feel I am more of a director.

How is it working with newcomers?

It is easier because you can mould them in any way. Experienced actors come with a lot of baggage of already knowing a lot of stuff, so they tend to take a character according to their sensibilities of acting. That’s when it becomes a little tough with seasoned actors to break that and tell them what the director is expecting out of a character.

Acting or directing, which is more challenging?

Direction for sure is more challenging.

Any future projects as a director and actor?

As an actor, I am doing a series with Applause Entertainment called ‘Eyewitness’ and as a director, I have two feature films lined up. One is the digital feature film, the other one is a theatrical release which will go on floor by May next year.  

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Swati Semwal’s short film explores women sexuality

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