afaqs! news bureau

Truecaller's Women’s Day film reinforces brand's stand against harassment

The film showcases the story of a speech impaired woman who proves one doesn't need a voice but the will to speak up and take action.

Stalking is a crime. Unfortunately it is not seen as one in most cases. This Women’s Day, Truecaller with its branded content film ‘Shabd’ is reinforcing its stand against harassment and stalking. The film urges women to take action.

The film is guided by a report that suggests that 8 out of 10 women in India receive harassment and nuisance calls every day. Truecaller's film showcases the story of a speech impaired woman who proves one doesn't need a voice, but the will to speak up and take action.

Earlier in the year, the brand has launched its mainline campaign talking about the issue of phone harassment women face.

Abhinaya Anand, the film's main cast, also happens to be a speech impaired actor. The team involved in the execution of the film also conducted the discussions with Anand in sign language. The film was shot in a single day and skips the voice over and music.

The film has been ideated and conceptualised by Wirality Media, and produced in collaboration with M.O.M. (Mortals On Mission) Content Studio.

Manan Shah, Director of Marketing at Truecaller says “For us this is not just a campaign we do on Women’s Day, but a cause that has been close to us for many years. Harassment comes in many forms, but one thing is common - it is a crime. With this 5th edition of our #ItsNotOk campaign, we want to encourage more women to block and report any form of harassment. That's the only way it will stop. All of us at Truecaller are super thrilled with this campaign and hope it gives courage to more women to #SpeakUp against harassment.”

Sourya Bhattacharjee, creative director - Wirality and the writer of the film, says, “During our jam session, Karan and I found one gruesome data, that every 55 minutes, 1 woman gets stalked in India. But this statistic is nowhere to be seen, neither on prime time nor on mainstream media. Sadly, no one is talking about it. I realised, to break this stigma, we need one voice, that would inspire us all to speak. Hence, my idea was simple, let’s showcase the story of a girl who spoke for all, without having a voice of her own.”

Saanand Warrier, CEO of Wirality Media says, “When you work with a great team everything is just seamless and we’ve been blessed with that both internally and in our external partners. Once again Truecaller’s faith in us to drive their creative and media mandates has yielded an output like no other. This is just the start of some great work that is yet to come.”

Pranav Harihar Sharma, from MOM Content Studio and the writer-director of the film says, “When the idea of the Truecaller Women’s day film was shared with me, I was blown away with the fact that it was based on a true story. The task was to develop that into a gripping screenplay which reflects the real pain, a woman goes through when she faces incessant stalking and harassment. The most important part was the casting and I’m fortunate that I got Abhinaya Anand as my lead cast. She is a speech impaired actress from the film industry in the south and she did a phenomenal job with the character. This is by far my best shooting experience with an actor.”

Truecaller's Women’s Day film reinforces brand's stand against harassment

Speaking on the execution, Sharma says, “I decided to treat the film as silent film till the very end, with just ambient sounds. The lyrics in the end, ‘Yeh haunsle ki deewar hai’ were written to express the inner strength of the character which ends the film on an emotional high. I was keeping my fingers crossed while making this film as this needs me to think like a woman and create her pain on the screen. There was no room for even a .0005 per cent error else the film would end up looking like a drama, which is absolutely unacceptable. The effort was to keep it real and relatable.”

"The story resonated with me very well. When I met the direction team and discuss in detail I was sure that every women will relate to it irrespective of age and geography. We shot the film in a day and that was one of the most fulfilling days of my life," Abhinaya Anand said.


Brand: Truecaller

Director of Marketing: Manan Shah

Agency: Wirality Media Private Limited

Agency Lead: Saanand Warrier

Creative Director & Co-Writer: Sourya Bhattacharjee

Account Lead : Isha Bajpai

Digital Lead: Karan Verma

ACD Video : Geetika Sood

Production Company: M.O.M. (Mortals On Mission), Mumbai

Director and writer: Pranav Harihar Sharma

Producer: Darpan Trisal

Creative producer: Reena Oberoi

Director(s) of Photography: Emil Ashok

Music Director & Singer: Hanif Shaikh

Lyrics: Pranav Harihar Sharma

Executive producer: Vikash Arya

Editor : Protim Khound

Sound Design: Pranav Harihar Sharma, Zeno

Cast: Abhinaya Anand

Casting Company: M.O.M. (Mortals On Mission), Mumbai