Welcome to the Dadasaheb Phalke International Film Festival (DPIFF) 2025, where innovation meets recognition! Introducing our groundbreaking “YouTube Release program” an exciting initiative for filmmakers to showcase their creations on the esteemed DPIFF Official YouTube Channel. Among the coveted Best Short Film category nominations, filmmakers now have the opportunity to join a vibrant community celebrating cinematic brilliance across diverse genres.

About “Act Normal”

Act Normal’ follows an unnamed woman suffering from depression. What the film manages to capture so well is the actual experience of what it is like to suffer from depression. There are no tell tale signs or overt gestures that you can glean from. For people who have to face the suffocating anxiety of what true depression is like, it is mostly a silent ordeal. Seeking help is often hard, not only due to the attached societal stigma but also because, most often, people who are suffering mentally don’t usually have an established avenue for help. Sure, therapists and psychiatrists exist. However, you really have to understand the fact that in most cases, people who are suffering from anything, be it physical or emotional pain, are not the initiators in seeking help. It is just human nature. The responsibility lies upon those closest to the person suffering to be able to recognize the symptoms. That is why communication and an open conversation about mental health is so important. 

From the director’s pen

The Director Himanee Bhatia says, “I am deeply humbled and grateful for this incredible appreciation from the honourable jury. Act Normal, is a film which is my way of helping and healing society. We are at a time where mental health is been a battle for many of us, right from children to adults. 


Through Act Normal, I have tried to portray the effects of depression and anxiety that can happen to a person. The central character is one which has the perfect life on the outside, however is struggling with her health on the inside.

I chose the title ‘Act Normal’ as many of us are forced to normalise depression as ‘mere sadness’ and stay quiet about it.


My name is Himanee Aarya Bhatia, I started my career in November, 2019. As I am from Delhi I shifted to Mumbai and decided to pursue acting and writing. I was earlier working at a company called KPMG as a risk and legal consultant, and I quit my job on the day of my promotion. Within two months of joining the industry, the COVID pandemic happened – however, I always have been a firm believer of creating opportunities if you can’t find them. I acted, directed, wrote and produced the film ‘Act Normal’. My journey started as a theatre artist to now acting for platforms such as Netflix, Jio Cinema, MX player, Disney Hotstar and Hindustan times. I am also an author of 3 books, and the producer as ‘Himanee Aarya Bhatia Productions ‘. Through my art and creativity, I aim to produce, write and act in projects that make a difference to society. Till date I get comments on the film Act Normal, about people sharing their stories and for me the biggest source of joy is when my audience says they don’t feel alone anymore, and want to heal. I hope through my projects and as an artist in this lifetime, I can touch a chord in society and always do meaningful content which will help my audience. I believe art is one of the greatest ways to impact society, and I would like to be courageous and contribute rightfully to my audience. I am deeply humbled by the appreciation. Thank you so much.” 

The Importance of Open Conversation

The film highlights the importance of open conversation about mental health. It emphasizes the need for people to recognize the symptoms of depression and to seek help. The film also underscores the responsibility that lies with those closest to the person suffering to be able to recognize the symptoms and to provide support.


“Act Normal” is a powerful and thought-provoking short film that sheds light on the often-overlooked topic of depression. The film’s portrayal of the protagonist’s emotional state is raw and honest, and its message about the importance of open conversation is timely and necessary. The film is a must-watch for anyone who has ever struggled with mental health issues or knows someone who has.

About the Cinematographer – Himanee Aarya Bhatia and Suhail Suri

Himanee Bhatia emerges as a visionary director in the realm of documentary filmmaking, particularly noted for her work on “Act Normal.” With a background steeped in cultural anthropology and a keen interest in social justice issues, Bhatia brings a unique perspective to her filmmaking. Her directorial style is characterized by a deep commitment to authenticity and a nuanced exploration of the human experience. In “Act Normal,” Bhatia delves into the lives of individuals navigating neurodiversity, offering a compassionate and insightful portrayal that challenges societal norms and stereotypes.

Bhatia’s approach as a director is marked by meticulous research and a dedication to amplifying voices often marginalized in mainstream narratives. Through her lens, she brings to light the complexities and challenges faced by her subjects with sensitivity and empathy. Her storytelling unfolds with a blend of observational footage and intimate interviews, allowing viewers to connect on a personal level with the individuals at the heart of “Act Normal.” Bhatia’s directorial choices invite reflection on themes of identity, acceptance, and the power of human resilience, making “Act Normal” not just a documentary, but a catalyst for meaningful dialogue and social change.

Suhail Suri is a cinematographer and editor who has worked on various projects in the film industry. He has a keen eye for detail and is able to capture the essence of a scene with his camera. His work on “Act Normal” is outstanding, and he is a key contributor to the film’s success.


The cast of “Act Normal” Himanee Aarya Bhatia, Dhruv Gupta, Shivani Bhatia Seth, Bikram Seth, Shrey Khanna, Avanti Lakhotia, and Fido Seth. Each of the actors delivers a strong performance, adding depth and nuance to the film.

For more updates and insights into Himanee Bhatia’s work, follow:
For more updates and insights into Himanee Bhatia’s work, follow:


Instagram: @himaneebhatia





Watch now!
Dive into this fresh theme of what “Act Normal” represents.
Click on- https://youtu.be/4kYFJq3LPAw?si=mmCulajXlZv0Dwfm


Explore the magic of “Act Normal” and its journey through the lens of DPIFF 2025. Join us in celebrating cinematic brilliance and cultural diversity!


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