Apeejay Institute of Mass Communication (AIMC) New Delhi, held a Live Webinar with the cast & crew of Amazon Prime’s hit show ‘Pataal Lok’ earlier this week (Monday, 15 June) on Zoom. Through the interactive virtual session, Team Pataal Lok not only unraveled many mysteries and stories behind making of the super hit show that has gripped the entire country but also addressed mental health issues prevalent in the society today. The event featured discussions with the following members from the web series:

  • Abhishek Banerjee, Casting Director & Actor
  • Niharika Dutt, Actor
  • Swastika Mukherjee, Actor
  • Nikita Grover, Casting Director & Actor
  • Jagjeet Sandhu, Famous Panjabi Actor
  • Asif Khan, Noted Actor

Having portrayed the character of ‘Dolly Mehra’ who battles with mental health issues in the series, Swastika Mukherjee said: ‘‘In our commercial film-making scenario, it is important to include mental health issues. We need to separate the stigma and taboo from it and ensure that a dialogue around it can be cultivated. The bigger fight today is not feeding into negativity.’’

Addressing the issue, Abhishek Banerjee, Casting Director and Actor, said: ‘‘It is extremely important to be compassionate to others. There is always someone who is looking for help around you. Be the person who can identify those and help others.’’

While talking about the series and what went behind making it, Abhishek added, ‘‘From scripting to wrapping up the shoot, it took us almost 3 years. It was a wonderful experience, but if I could play any other character, I would have loved to play Ansaari’’.

Prof. Sajal Mukherjee, Director, AIMC said, ‘‘We are glad that through this session, we could address issues of mental health today. This is our collective endeavour to raise awareness about it and  a step towards destigmatizing it.’’

Prof. Mukherjee further added that, ‘‘At the same time, we are pleased that the audience not only discovered behind the scenes stories about the series but also uncovered the art of narration, film-making, acting, casting, promotions – all the aspects that made Pataal Lok a superhit show. For the first time aspiring media students and fans got an opportunity to interact and learn from its cast and crew .’’