By: Upala KBR, Mid-Day
Thursday, August 02, 2007
Producer Anil Kapoor's Gandhi - My Father had a glittering premiere for charity on July 29 at the Nu Metro theatre in Monte Casino, Johannesburg, attended by President Thabo Mbeki, Nelson Mandela and other South African cabinet ministers.
Says Kapoor, who is still in the South African city, "The charity show got a phenomenal response. We collected 1.8 million Rands (approx Rs 1 crore), which will go to the Mbeki Foundation and the Mandela Charity."
The actor says that the response to the film is beyond what he imagined. "After the premiere, Nelson Mandela invited the cast and crew to his home and delivered a special message in favour of the film and the struggles it portrays.
President Mbeki wants to screen Gandhi - My Father for people in the Ivory Coast as there is a civil war going on. He says the two countries can come together if they watch the film," says Anil. Anil says he wanted to hold the premiere in Johannesburg because of its association with Gandhi and Mandela's struggle for freedom from apartheid.
He says, "I got tremendous support from the South African government. We got to shoot in places like Pretoria town square and the courts, where many Hollywood films have been refused permission. My journey as a producer has been humbling. Everybody has stood by me, from my cast, to the director, technicians and family. It's been a fantastic experience."