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Monday, December 18, 2006
The craze for Indian films and filmstars in Pakistan was evident after the grand welcome that actor Ajay Devgan got at Karachi yesterday. Ajay went to Karachi for the Kara Film Festival where Omkara was screened. Also present at the event were Vishal Bhardwaj, the director of Omkara and Kumar Mangat, the producer of the film and filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt.
According to Mahesh Bhatt, the welcome they got was overwhelming. The entire crew was showered with rose petals. The excitement that people had for the film and the Indian filmstar was so much that the generally introvert Ajay Devgan also got emotional. He in fact said that if they don't stop this, he will go mad. Also, the film got a brilliant response. After the screening, a press conference was held where Ajay Devgan and Vishal Bhardwaj answered questions related to the film.
Kumar Mangat who just returned from the Kara film festival was quite elated. "It is a very nice feeling. Apart from Karachi, Omkara has won 3 awards each at the Cairo Film Festival as well as GIFA". So it is a hat-trick for Omkara at winning 3 awards at each film festival.
I can guarantee you that 5-10 people of every show will quit smoking once they see No Smoking. Ask him about his next film No Smoking and Kumar Mangat remains tight-lipped. On asking him about director Anurag Kashyup's jinx as a director, he is quick to revert, "The film just needs 15 more days of shooting and I am confident it will release without any delays. The film will most probably be out by 25 May and the first release of Anurag Kashyup." Mangat seems quite confident of Anurag's capabilities as a director.
Ask him on the theme of the film and he says, "As the title suggests, the film is about not smoking. I can guarantee you that 5-10 people of every show will quit smoking once they see the film." Trying to avoid more details he only informed us that the lead actress Ayesha Takia will be seen in a double role.
And finally what is the status of the film he was to produce for Soham Shah after Shah parted ways with Karan Johar? "Nothing has been finalized yet and a decision is yet to be made", is the standard answer.