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Fanney Khan director Atul Manjrekar believes it is necessary for a new film-maker to have support from an established production house, which has resources to reach out to a larger audience. The film, which features Anil Kapoor, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Rajkummar Rao, Divya Dutta and newcomer Pihu Sand, is produced by Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra. The director says it was Mehra's trust in him that gave him the strength to helm a movie with some of the biggest names in the film industry.
"I have been associated with Rakyesh sir for 20 years. It was he who believed in me and carried me through this journey of making this film. For a new filmmaker, it is important to have support from a big banner. Content is the king nowadays, but for it to reach a certain number of people one needs to have a backing from people who are known," Manjrekar told PTI in an interview.
The director says he never felt nervous while making his first feature as "the best people in the industry were working with him". "There was no pressure on me. They know their jobs really well and the amount of hard work everyone has put in is amazing," he adds. Manjrekar was approached by Mehra to direct Fanney Khan, which is an official remake of Oscar-nominated Belgian film "Everybody's Famous!".
He took on the responsibility as the story had a universal appeal. "The story really appealed to me and it is relevant in today's time. Rakeysh sir had seen this film and wanted to tell this story to Indian audiences. He asked me to watch it and I felt it would be great to adapt it."
The director says they have stayed true to the soul of the original, but the body- shaming angle was introduced keeping in mind the present times. "The original released in 1999 and we were making it nearly 20 years later. I have observed a big change in the society, which I wanted to bring in. With this whole boom of internet, we don't listen to music nowadays, we watch music instead."
"Something as pure an art form as music has now become a visual thing. I find it sad. For singers, apart from their talent, looks have become really important. I wanted to convey that it is wrong to judge anyone's calibre by the way they look," he says.
Fanney Khan has been produced by T-Series, Anil Kapoor Films & Communications Network and Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra Pictures. It will hit the screens this Friday.