A new series of controversies came to life with the release of Paatal Lok. With ten casting directors acting in the web-series, it created a rift between the acting community and casting community. Actors complain of being sidelined and ignored during an audition. They talk about how sometimes they are not even informed of the audition.
Abhimanyu Sarkar, who has acted in more than fifteen films, is the one to bring the issue to limelight. He shared a post talking about the differences and mentioning the names of the cast. He talks about how the casting directors make sure that either they themselves or their team gets the job.
He said, “I was approached for a project. But later didn’t get a call even for the audition. I was later informed by an acquaintance that the part has been given to someone from the casting team. I was disappointed and dejected.”
A debate was held on YouTube today by Ujjawal Trivedi with Amit Behl from CINTAA (Cine and Television Artist Association), Mahesh Sharma (actor), Abhimanyu Sarkar (actor), Shivani Rai (actor) and Shreedhar (casting director who played Amitosh in Paatal Lok).
While Abhimanyu and Shivani demanded that the actors be given a fair chance to audition, Shreedhar defended and said that all of them came to Bombay to become actors and took up the job of a casting director as a mode of survival in the industry. Representing CINTAA, Amit Behl put forward his thoughts and said that struggle is a part of an actor’s life, no matter how well-establish you are.
Bhumi Pednekar and Vikrant Massey are the examples of assisting-casting-director-gets-a-job. Though casting fraternity has denied any such claims, evidence suggest otherwise. For past ten years, there has been a growth in people assisting casting directors in a hope to make big.
Shruti Mahajan, a well-established casting director said, “We make sure everyone gets a fair chance. Last call is of the director anyway. Abhishek Banerjee got the part not because he is a casting director but for the marvelous work he does. The kind of work an actor shows on-screen is what makes us successful in the industry. We won’t compromise with our careers.”
Abhimanyu also mentioned, “They play dirty. They would make sure that we get an audition but the clips forwarded are the ones that would make sure we don’t get the part.”
The only way out is to make sure that there are legal procedures to maintain that the demarcation between casting and acting. Everyone should be informed of upcoming auditions and CINTAA should look out for any dirty play.