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Interview Hindi

I had this artistic urge to do a horror film, says comedian Ashish Chanchlani

The popular YouTuber talks about his first short film, Aakhri Safar, and his growing popularity on digital media.

Sukhpreet Kahlon

Comedian and YouTuber, Ashish Chanchlani recently released his first short film, Aakhri Safar, which combines the genres of horror and comedy. The film stars Deepak Sampat and Akshata Sonawane and is about incidents which unfold one night when an autorickshaw driver gets a sinister passenger.  

Over the years, Chanchlani has gathered an increasing number of followers and his channel has more than 10 million subscribers presently. Speaking about his work in the digital space and his channel on Youtube, which he started in the year 2009, he said, “It’s been a roller coaster of a journey. I come from a very small town, Ulhasnagar, and being here, trying to do something different, was very difficult." 

Chanchlani said, "Although I started my channel in 2009, I started making content in 2014. Then I saw that Vines were being made in America and started making that. I created something original and desi and posted on Instagram. I had 200 followers, and it slowly started growing. I started making short videos on Instagram and then on Facebook. Then people started stealing my videos on Youtube, so I had no other option but to come on Youtube and become more active!  So, I have seen the evolution and big shift in digital content. The space has changed over the years.”

As an artist, Chanchlani has experienced both the positive and negative aspects of digital media. “I am blessed that I got into this profession because I got an opportunity to entertain people. There are ups and downs that come with this profession. Firstly, you have to be very careful about what you say, because once you are a known face, there are more eyes on you. But the good thing is that you can reach out to so many people - they could be in any corner of the world, but they know you. Digital also gives you a personal feel. It’s like when fans and supporters meet me, they feel like they are meeting a friend. That is one of the biggest advantages of the field,” he said.

Though his comic videos have been receiving an overwhelming response, he wished to explore other avenues and thought of making a short film. The result was Aakhri Safar. He said, “Since the last two years, I had been making a lot of comedies and had a large audience. So I thought about giving them something different. You also get bored doing the same stuff again and again. I had this artistic urge to do a horror film.”

The film is a horror comedy, which allowed Chanchlani to stay true to his comedy roots and enthrall his audience. “I did not expect that people will give such a response. The film got almost 10 million views. Seeing the response, I feel that maybe I should do more experiments, but on my channel. People love comedy, so maybe my experiments will be fewer, but I will definitely do it. At least to satisfy myself," he said.

The comedian also spoke about his future plans which are currently on hold becuse of the ensuing lockdown due to COVID-19. “Seeing the condition around the world, it is the right time to sit at home and prepare and prepare. I have plans for some comedy videos and some more films, but right now, I will look more at the comedy genre because of the prevailing condition.”