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The Islam follower who made a film on Hindu religion

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By: Moses Navgire, IndiaFM
Friday, September 29, 2006
After a very long time lapse, Bollywood will be seeing a devotional film. A film based on Goddess Santoshi. Percept Picture Company brings you Jai Santoshi Maa which releases this Friday. On this occasion, we had a special talk with the director of the film Ahmed Siddiqui who will also mark his directorial debut with Jai Santoshi Maa. There is a buzz in the media that the film is a remake of the 70's hit film with the same title. But when asked why he chose to do a remake Ahmed clarifies saying "Jai Santoshi Maa is not a complete 'remake' as such. Yes it does draw some inspiration from the old film but then this film has its own essence."

One remarkable thing about the director Ahmed Siddiqui is that though he is a follower of Islam, he chose to make a film like Jai Santoshi Maa which is based on Hindu religious beliefs. "I am a filmmaker and when I got the offer to make this film, I took it as a challenge. Things like religious differences don't come as a barrier for a filmmaker."

In today's times, the films are more glamorous. Loads of masala, designer costumes and foreign locations form an essential element of movies today. In spite of this, Siddiqui believes that Jai Santoshi Maa will touch the audiences. "Though the times have changed, the faith still exists. And so, I'm confident that a film like Jai Santoshi Maa will help rekindle the faith of the masses."

The music of the film is done by the ace music director Anu Malik. Though Anu has always been associated with big masala films, he managed to create the right mix for a devotional film like Jai Santoshi Maa. "If you listen to the music of Jai Santoshi Maa, you'll realize that Anu Malik has done full justice to the music of this film. It goes perfectly well with the theme of the film."

Ahmed Siddiqui is very satisfied with the performance of all the actors in the film. He is not intimidated by the fact that the film doesn't have big stars. "It's true that the film doesn't have big stars as such but then the performances of all the actors is so well that I don't think it even matters. I'm very satisfied with the performances of my actors."

Siddique has had a long association with the Yash Raj Group. He was the Chief Assistant Director for films like Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge and Veer Zaara. And now, he has been working with Percept Picture Company to make his debut film. "It was an amazing experience to work with Percept. They were very supportive throughout the making of the film."

After Jai Santoshi Maa, Ahmed Siddique also plans to begin with his next project but he remains tight lipped about it. "Yes, the work is on for planning my next venture. It will be different from the devotional-religious theme. But, it's too early to reveal any details at this point." 

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