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Son Owais postpones film on M F Hussain

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By: Upala KBR, Mid-Day
Wednesday, May 31, 2006
Owais Hussain's biographical film, on his father, painter MF Hussain, Painter In The Making, which was to release in March 2006 has been postponed. The film will now begin shooting in 2006, and release next year.

Not before year-end

Speaking from Goa, where he is on a holiday with his wife Reema; Owais confirmed, "Yes, Painter In The Making has got a bit pushed behind schedule as I have been travelling a lot. I had some painting exhibitions and shows in New York, Singapore and Dubai for the last six months and couldn't concentrate on the film much.

Right now, we are still finalising the script. It's in the drafting stage. The response abroad, was great, so I plan to have shows also in Delhi, Kolkata and Mumbai, so till then, I don't see the film starting before the end of the year."

Has he finalised the casting? "Besides Shreyas Talpade, who will be playing dad's role; nobody has been finalised as yet."

The inspiration

How did the thought of making a film on his dad come about? "That's a rather interesting story," says Owais. "Dad used to write a lot of English poetry in the 1960s and 70s. In 1988, when he had a bypass surgery and the doctor asked him to slow down on his work and travels he started getting frustrated at home.

I told him why don't you start writing poetry again but in Urdu as he hadn't explore that language before? Then, around, 1991, dad and I started travelling all over Europe. While we were travelling by car to Venice dad started doing sketches of his childhood. As we drove all over Italy and other European countries dad kept on sketching.

Finally, he produced a series of sketches on his childhood and this with his poetry (which he wrote in Urdu) became his biography called - Ek Ladka Dubla Patla Sa. That forms the base of the film along with other interesting anecdotes. We don't want to make a documentary."

Painter In The Making was to be Owais's directorial debut. "Yes. My wife and I had planned to produce and direct it. She'd worked with cinematographer, Ashok Mehta, whom we wanted to work with in our film. Dad met Ashok over dinner and the next thing we knew dad had signed him for Gajagamini," laughs Owais.

"Then we spoke to Santosh Sivan for our film again but again dad got him for Meenakshi. Thus Painter In The Making kept getting pushed back until now."

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