Road Safety Week 2018 is being celebrated all over India starting from January 11- January 17, this year. A number of events, campaigns, etc. are being planned by the various RTOs all across Mumbai. Mohanjeet Kalsi, a young filmmaker tells us what made her write and direct a film “The Blue Helmet” around this subject. Hira Mehta interviews her.
What is the first thought that comes to your mind when you hear the words ‘Road Safety’?
Mohanjeet: Not surprisingly the word “accidents”. I think everyone probably would think the same. Road accidents are inevitable but you can safeguard yourself from getting hurt or hurting others by being more aware and alert.
Why did you think of making a film on road safety as your first film?
Mohanjeet: I was going through some disturbing news about two young boys losing their lives riding a bike without a helmet. Watching the youngsters often ride rashly in our locality on their bikes got me worried. It got me thinking that they were endangering not just their lives but the lives of others as well. As a filmmaker and writer, I realised my only tool to spread a message or awareness was making a film around it. This seemed the best way I could express my feelings on the subject.
It all starts with the thought as you just said. So what is your film “The Blue Helmet” about?
Mohanjeet: When you try to tell people something, they usually do not listen, but sometimes the way you tell something, it makes a difference. My film is a very different take on road safety. I starting writing a script around a thought. I shared my script with close friends who readily came on board as they believed in my script as well. That’s how the whole idea became a reality. The Blue Helmet is a light-hearted take on how a simple incident can affect life around you.
What more are you doing to spread Road Safety awareness through your film “The Blue Helmet”?
Mohanjeet: I have shared my film with a number of NGOs working in the area of road safety and it is heartening to know that they have shown interest in being associated with my film. I am going start a campaign on social media shortly called #WearHelmet for everyone to share their personal stories and views. I have also sent my film to various film festivals around the world. I feel that everyone should wear a helmet as a ‘necessity’ and not as a ‘compulsion’. My question to the authorities is “why is wearing a helmet not a necessity for the pillion rider” as well. Statistics reveal that it is the pillion rider who gets more hurt in an accident. Everything you want to know is a click away at your fingertips, social media can play an even bigger role in spreading awareness. I am sure my film “The Blue Helmet” will help in creating a small ripple of awareness. I plan to release my film this month on YouTube.
Mohanjeet: I have already written and continue to write scripts for advertisements which should be out soon. More films on the horizon with another short film shortly. My film scripts are already doing the rounds of production houses and I hope to direct one of my scripts soon. For associations or feedback, please connect with me on email@example.com.
About Mohanjeet Kalsi