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Padmavati has a risk cover of Rs 160 crore, reveals director of insurance company

Padmavati has not only been a risky project for the makers of the film, but also for the insurance company that worked with them on the project.

Aatur Thakkar, Director of Alliance Insurance said, “It has been a difficult project from the very beginning, as you are aware the sets of the film were attacked by fringe groups. However that was nothing compared to the threat the movie faces now.”

Alliance has been associated with Padmavati since the very beginning and they claim to take a lot of pride in this association. Thakkar added, “we have not only insured the movie during production but also covered them for a safe release. We are also protecting their revenues if they get affected post a release.”

Padmavati had been postponed from its earlier release date of December 1, and the film has been banned in five states including Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan even before the Central Board of Film Certification certified the film. This is definitely not a good sign for the makers, who have a risk cover for the film of Rs 160 cr, apart from the production insurance.

Thakkar informed, “The risk commences only once the movie is allowed to release and there is a claim like situation if the release is disturbed, affecting the revenues from ticket sale collection. We are hoping every thing settles down and the movie releases soon as the filmmakers and the media has promised that there is nothing in the movie which should create this havoc .”

Here is a list of films that fell prey to politics before its release:

Garam Hawa (1974)

The film remained uncensored by the CBFC for nearly 8 months fearing communal violence. But KA Abbas showed the film to government officials leaders and journalists before it found its way to the cinema halls.The film was premiered at Regal cinema prior to the release, and Bal Thackeray, who had threatened to burn down the cinema halls, got to watch the film at a special screening.

Aandhi (1975)

The film was a political drama and was alleged to be inspired from the real life story of the then prime minister Indira Gandhi and her estranged husband Feroz Gandhi. The film did not get a proper release while Indira Gandhi was in power and later got banned during the emergency. But in 1977 after the Congress was defeated and Janata Party came into power the film got a proper release on national television.

Shahenshah (1988)

There were allegations, which were later dismissed by the court, of Amitabh Bachchan’s involvement in the Bofors scam before the release of the film. Audiences were curious to see the film as it was his first release after a gap of two years. It released to a thundering response despite protests and trade pundits said the protests actually helped the film at the box office.

Khalnayak (1993)

This Sanjay Dutt film’s release coincided with his arrest in the 1993 Mumbai blasts. But the controversy, again, played a part in the film’s huge success.

Fanaa (2006)

Aamir Khan’s statement in support of Narmada Bachao Andolan got him into trouble with then Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi. The film did not get released there even the actor’s effigies were burnt. But the controversy helped the film and it was a big hit.

Jo Bole So Nihaal (2005)

 Jo Bole So Nihaal was in the eye of a storm for allegedly insulting the Sikh religion. Large-scale protests were seen in Jalandhar and other cities of Punjab. Sikh organisations threatened to launch more protests if the Central Board of Film Certification failed to impose a blanket ban but the film released despite the warnings. It, however, had to be pulled out of many halls because of protests and the producer lost crores.
Water (2005)

The movie faced opposition during its shooting from Hindu organisations in Varanasi. The sets were destroyed. The Uttar Pradesh government decided to stop the shooting on 31 January 2000. The shooting was shifted to Sri Lanka later. Shiv Sena Chief Bal Thackeray had said that he hated Deepa Mehta the most. Shiv Sainiks even burnt DVDs of the film. The movie was released in India much later in March 2007.

Fire (1996)

On its opening day in India, some film theatres were attacked by Hindu fundamentalists for depicting a lesbian relationship.The film was withdrawn and sent back to the Censor Board. But, later it was released uncut.

My Name is Khan (2010)

Before the release of My Name is Khan, Shah Rukh Khan had stated that he had no qualms about having Pakistani cricketers playing in the IPL. This didn’t go down well with Shiv Sena, who tried to obstruct My Name is Khan‘s release. The movie, which finally managed to reach the theatres, was given heavy police protection and had a fractured start at the box office. But the film later went to become a big hit and won critical acclaim as well.

Bombay (1995)

Mani Ratnam’s film was a inter-religion love story set in the backdrop of the Bombay riots. The film was slammed by both Hindu and Muslim leaders of Mumbai. Muslim leaders alleged that there was a biased depiction of the Mumbai riots in the film, and as a result Ratnam had to screen the film for Bal Thackeray before it released in Maharashtra.

Watch: Sanjay Dutt reveals why he choose Omung Kumar’s Bhoomi as his comeback film

Ahead of the release of Bhoomi, Firstpost caught up with Sanjay Dutt, who was more than happy to answer our curious questions.

One of the most obvious ones, at the heels of his release, is — Why Bhoomi  and not Munnabhai 3, as the latter already has a trailer out?

Dutt reveals, “Munnabhai 3 is still on the scripting stage. Right now it’s on hold. Bhoomi is a film I really wanted to do as a comeback, especially because I believe in women empowerment. I wanted to talk about what a rape victim [sic] from a small family goes through living in a city like Agra”

Speaking about Omung Kumar, the director of the film, Dutt says, “Omung is a great director, he’s tried something different with Bhoomi. It’s totally a commercial film.”

Was politics ever an option for a comeback, we ask Dutt? He is quick to respond, “Not really. Two family members is enough. Cinema is a medium where I can reach out to many people, and send out a good message.”

Watch Firstpost’s interview with Sanjay Dutt.

Idea for Bareilly Ki Barfi came immediately after Nil Battey Sannata, reveals Ashwini Iyer Tiwari

The attire and persona of Ashwini Iyer Tiwari gives out an air of an artistic presence.

Sophomore director Ashwini Iyer Tiwari, whose debut film Nil Battey Sannata was a whiff of fresh air, is back again with Bareilly Ki Barfi and this time too her story is rooted in a small town.

The fascination for India’s small towns for this commercial arts graduate from Mumbai’s Sophia Polytechnic is apparent. “It also happens because of my experience in advertising. When you are working in advertising, you have to do a lot of research and a lot of time is spent with planners. All those experiences with the passage of time get engraved in your mind,” she says.

Her interest in the study of personality and interests of an individual compelled Ashwini to start her own page on Facebook titled No Makeup Story. On her page, the director makes effort to read and write her observations about random people from various strata of society. “The entire aspect of my page is to know who these people are,” says Ashwini.

Born and brought up in the metropolis of Mumbai, Ashwini harbors the mindset of a small town girl. At the slightest opportunity, she runs away to the serene surroundings of Chembur where her parents live.  It’s evident that her mind is still trapped in an era when the Internet was not the buzzword. “I would say I am trapped in the whole idea of simplicity and in the idea of slow living,” she says.

It was sheer luck that the day she finished her debut film was also the day she got the germ for Bareilly Ki Barfi. “I was returning back to Mumbai after finishing the last schedule of Nil Battey Sannata. I was at the Delhi airport and picked up The Ingredients of Love by French author Nicolas Barreau. I started reading the book when I boarded the flight and there was a paragraph that really appealed to me, which later on became the core idea of Bareilly Ki Barfi.”

But when she reached home that day and sounded off the idea to her filmmaker husband Nitesh Tiwari, the conversation was not a pleasant one, recalls Ashwini.

“Nitesh said to me that you have just finished a film and have just come back home, that too with an idea for your next film. He told me that I was crazy,” she laughs. The hook line for her next film was so strongly now etched in the director’s mind that that when the couple set off for their annual vacation the next day, the book too found a place in her handbag. “I took the book along for my holiday and Nitesh had no option but to read that book. I told him to see what can be done with the plot line. We later on discussed about the possible plot and eventually figured out how to go about it.”

Ashwini believes that her filmmaking sensibility is rooted in the films of Hrishikesh Mukherjee, Basu Chatterjee and Sai Paranjape.  “I love the films of Sai and Hrishi Da. Their filmmaking sensibility stemmed from their own simplicity. The characters, which we encounter in their films, inspire me a lot,” she informs.

Becoming another Sai Paranjape is one ambition that Ashwini often thinks about and thus relentlessly works for it. “It’s my wish that in next few years people say this country has found a new Sai Paranjapem” she says.

After the critical acclaim that Nil Battey Sannata gathered last year, and the subsequent mega success of Dangal, one term which the duo might get to hear a lot in the coming days would be that of the ‘power couple’ of the film industry. When asked about the same, Ashwini cringes in the beginning but goes ahead to give a plausible explanation. “People might say so because we are two individuals and we both happen to be film directors. Something similar happened when we were part of the advertising fraternity too. We both managed awards at Cannes in the same year. While he got his for a radio ad, I got mine for a print campaign. We are only doing our respective work and trying to put in our best foot forward.”

Ashwini’s two films have featured only actors and not stars. “I have never thought about the fact that I work with actors, while Nitesh works only with stars. I come from a very different school of thought. It’s the actors who have to become characters and not vice versa. Tomorrow if I get a script and if I want Aamir Khan for that film, I will definitely approach him. The access factor has now become better,” says Ashwini, laughing.