Filmmaker Prakash Jha plays the main lead in a short film titled ‘Highway Night’ which revolves around a truck driver (Seetaram) who picks up a girl from the highway. Her name is Manju and she turns out to be a sex worker. As the duo strike a conversation and develop a bond through the night, Seetaram develops a paternal feeling towards Manju.

Jha plays Seetaram and the film aims to highlight the plight of women in the remote areas of India. ‘Highway Night’ is now being shortlisted for the ‘Live Action Short Film Entry’ at Oscars. The film is in the academy screening room and the jury will decide if it can be selected for the next round.

This short film is directed by Shubham Singh. The director spoke about casting Prakash Jha. “The choice of having Prakash Jha playing an overworked truck driver was an organic one. When I completed the story, the first thought in my mind was that it is good story for him. I have also watched ‘Saand ki Aankh’, which also pushed me to consider him for this part.”

The director said that he’s a travel junkie and has explored the diversity in India. “When I was sitting across a roadside eating joint( Indian Dhaba), I saw that a teen girl was desperately seeking for a customer, just to meet her hunger. Suddenly, a mysterious old man called her and offered her food. I was gazing the entire incident suspiciously. But all my pre conceived notions went wrong, when the old man gently paid for the food, without seeking anything in return,” he shared.

The journey on ‘Highway Night’ began after this incident.

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