From the chaotic streets of Kurla in Mumbai, also known as Bombay 70 emerged a boy Nawed Shaikh popularly known as Naezy. He changed the course of rap culture in India. His journey inspired budding filmmaker, Disha Noyonika Rindani, who four years ago made the short film Bombay 70 on his life. The film went on to win at the Mumbai Film Festival, bringing the spotlight on Naezy. In a candid chat with Cine Blitz, the filmmaker talks about Bombay 70 and more…
When did the idea of making a short film about Naezy come to your mind?
I was 21 then. I had dropped out from college, because I wanted to make films and I was not getting to learn anything on those lines. Mumbai Film Festival has a category for under-25 filmmakers called Mumbai Dimensions’, for which you are supposed to make a five minute short film about Mumbai. So I started researching and I had heard a song titled Aafat sung by Naezy, which was composed and sung by him. I could relate to him.
How did you approach Naezy?
I identified him and reached out to him on Facebook that was the period in which he had just started getting attention. By then he had two to three songs to his credit. The videos were very amateur, but in those few song the independent spirit was evident and his lyrics and the rap were very powerful. When I approached him, he was clueless and sceptical about what sort of a film will I make? So I began with being friends with him and I made sure that the language isn’t a barrier between us. Wo bhale Urdu me likhta ho, par uski soch bilkul modern hai.
How was the process of making the film?
Naezy agreed to the project. I remember it was the month of Ramadan and he was on the 40-days fasting. Due to this we used to hardly get two hours to talk to him every day. We shot for two days and made a five-minute film which went on to win the first prize at the Mumbai Film Festival. With the prize money, we shot a bit more and extended the film to 10-minutes. After a year of winning at the Mumbai Film Festival I released the extended film in 2014.
How difficult was it to make the film?
The place is called Rambachan Chawl in Kurla and Bombay 70 is a prominent Muslim locality. They all are very friendly people, but at the same time they are very private as well. So they were cautious at first. But then I was a 21-year-old young girl then, so it became easier for me to make them believe that I am making a film on this boy who is very talented.
How was Naezy reacting to all this?
At the beginning he was not sure about the project. He used to say that he is just an artist with no connection to films. I just told him that your story makes you unique and people should know it.
What inspired you the most about him?
When I started the research I got to know that there weren’t many rappers in our country. Nawed being a Muslim boy opted to do this, even though it is considered haraam in the Muslim religion and isn’t accepted. Divine was another rapper with him, but he was a Christian and Christianity doesn’t stop you from pursuing it. Nawed was not allowed to take this up as a career.
What did you think about Gully Boy?
I know Zoya Akhtar and Reema Kagti (filmmakers) had watched the film and I also knew they were making a film on rap culture. I wanted to work with them and I knew Zoya is making a film on Nawed, so I shared that I was interested in working with her. I am a screenwriter myself. I helped them out with some footage I had, but later lost touch due to my prior commitments.
I am writing another feature film which I hope gets produced by someone. I was also a co-writer with Konkona Sensharma in the 2016 film The Death in The Gunj. So that’s been my journey.
Super 30: Mukesh Chhabra makes a shocking revelation about the ‘super 30’ kids in the Hrithik Roshan starrer!
In an exclusive chat with CineBlitz, ace casting director Mukesh Chhabra shares his journey of casting the 30 children in Hrithik Roshan’s Super 30 and reveals some stunning facts – check out the video
Hrithik Roshan’s Super 30 has been in the news the past few months for various reasons, including the shuffle with the release date. But ever since the makers dropped the teaser, the trailer and the songs, the film has been making all the right kinds of noise. What has been grabbing most eyeballs besides Hrithik Roshan’s rustic avatar is his amazing chemistry with the 30 kids that he shares the screen space with in the Anand Kumar biopic. The film revolves around Hrithik’s character Anand Kumar, as he helps 30 under-privileged kids to prepare for the entrance exams to secure admission to India’s premium engineering institution – The Indian Institutes of Technology. Needless to say, the children play a crucial part in the film and ace casting director Mukesh Chhabra admits that casting them was no cakewalk.
Talking to us exclusively about the casting, Mukesh reveals that the real challenge was in casting 30 fresh young actors, who looked real and authentic. He says, “We wanted to cast children who came across as genuine and natural. The children in the film belong to the underprivileged classes and while casting that was our primary goal, to maintain authenticity. At no point could they come across as if they are acting.”
And in a stunning revelation, the casting director shares that over 14,000 children were auditioned for the parts. Yes, that’s right. Over 14,000 youngsters were auditioned and over a period of six gruelling months, they were shortlisted to 1,000, then to 400 before finalising 31 children. “The process was a huge challenge. Shortlisting the final 30 from over 14,000 children was not easy at all. We auditioned all over – right from Mumbai to Patna to Jharkhand,” says Mukesh.
But the process did not end at casting the 30. Post the selection, Mukesh undertook regular workshops with the 30 kids. “See, they are all first-time actors so we had to really train them in the craft of acting. Also the film is not shot in a linear pattern, so they have to be prepared to follow the non-linear format, where the story doesn’t progress in continuation. So, we helped them understand the characters, trained them in acting and understanding the nuances of their performances in front of the camera,” adds Mukesh. Check out the video here:
Interestingly, the casting director is well-known for his casting of kids, especially Dangal, Bajrangi Bhaijaan, Chillar Party and most recently Notebook. “Yes Dangal till date remains one of the most-challenging films I casted for. Super 30 follows close next,” he says. However, it’s been worth the hard-work and the efforts, since the kids are garnering high praise. “Well, I’m just happy that they are winning hearts and their chemistry with Hrithik is being appreciated so much,” beams Mukesh proudly.
What do you think about the super casting of the 30 children in Hrithik Roshan’s Super 30? Do let us know in the comments section below. The film directed by Vikas Bahl also stars Mrunal Thakur and Pankaj Tripathi. Produced by Reliance Entertainment, Phantom Films and Sajid Nadiadwala’s Nadiadwala Grandson Entertainment, Super 30 releases on July 12. Stay tuned to CineBlitz for more such news and updates from Bollywood.
Super 30: Mrunal Thakur has THIS to say about working with Hrithik Roshan
In an exclusive chat with Team CineBlitz, Mrunal Thakur reveals all about her experience of working with Hrithik Roshan
Super 30 starring Hrithik Roshan and Mrunal Thakur is all set to entertain audiences on July 12. Mrunal Thakur, who is making her big screen debut opposite Hrithik Roshan in the film, is both nervous and excited ahead of the film’s release. In an exclusive interview with CineBlitz, Mrunal talks about her move from television to movies and shares her experience of working with Hrithik Roshan in Super 30.
When asked if she ever felt apprehensive about working with a star like Hrithik Roshan, Mrunal confessed that she was! She said, “I remember I was very nervous. I was shivering when I got to know that I am going to meet Hrithik the next day. I made sure that I mugged up the script of Super 30 by heart, even the page numbers. Just in case he asked! I know I was acting a little bit crazy but I had to be prepared.”
She went on to tell us, “But the day I saw him, he was very down-to-earth. He is very down-to-earth in general as well. He appears to be a big Bollywood star but when you meet him you will feel like you know him for so many years. You will feel like you know him very well. He gives that kind of a feeling. He made me very comfortable and I am blessed to have my Bollywood career debut with a star like Hrithik Roshan.”
Revealing her first day on the sets, Mrunal said, “I was very nervous. I went on to Hrithik and I told him that I am very nervous and if something wrong happens he should just forgive me. And his reply was so comforting. He said that he is happy that I am nervous because he himself was very nervous.”
She added, “It was all new for us but what helped us was the fact that we gave each other time to know each other. So it was a little easy for us. We created certain situations before the shoot began where we decided that we will do things in real life just how our characters Supriya and Anand would do in the film. And Hrithik being an extraordinary performer can lead a scene anywhere when there is no script and this helped us understand each other better. And it only elevates to good so yes that helped us a lot.”
Directed by Vikas Bahl, Super 30 will hit the theatres on July 12. Stay tuned to CineBlitz for more such exclusive interviews and news.
Rasika Dugal reveals an interesting connection between her first gadget and her boyfriend!
In an exclusive interview, Rasika Dugal also revealed how she has never got her heart broken, but she has been quite the heart-breaker!
Rasika Dugal is riding high on the critical acclaim that she has garnered for her roles in Hamid as well as the web series, Delhi Crime. The Mirzapur actress has played several, diverse and intriguing roles over the last decade. However, as she takes a slight break from work, we caught up with the actress and played some fun games. And during one such game, she told us an interesting connection between her first gadget and her boyfriend. In fact, she even told us that she has never had her heart broken, but she’s quite the heart-breaker.
Check out Rasika Dugal’s surprising revelations in our exclusive interview right here:
In our game of ‘All Her Firsts’, Rasika Dugal opened up about her first job as a research assistant, her first pay cheque, her first date at the age of 16, among others. She also mentioned how Sridevi is her first memory of Bollywood and how she was very nervous during her first audition. Check out all her revelations and much more in the video above! Also stay tuned to CineBlitz for more such interesting interviews right her
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