The very prolific Nagesh Kukunoor's new film Dhanak has been selected in the prestigious Generation K Plus section of the Berlin Film Festival.
Ecstatic at the honour Nagesh says, "One makes all one's films with equal passion. But when one of them gets a special validation of this kind it feels like balm on the soul. There are 8 films in the Generation K Plus section. And we're one of them."
Now begins the struggle to carry the film and its core cast of the 8-year old Krish Chabria and the 9-year old Hetal Gada to Berlin to be present for the honour in February 2015.
Apparently Dhanak, intended as a small-budget film had to bear with unforeseen expenses.
Explains Nagesh, "We had to fly actors for even the smallest roles from Mumbai to Rajasthan. Using local actors was not an option because there were no actors where we were shooting. Now I am hoping and praying that we can afford to fly the two kids to the Berlin."
And what was the reaction of the children?
"Nothing!" laughs Nagesh. "They know nothing about Berlin and festivals. So they were like 'Thank you, Uncle!' I think I'd have got a better reaction if I had given them one bar of chocolate each. Actually it's this innocence that makes Dhanak the special film that it is."
Considering there was a budget problem regarding the actor's travel tickets has Nagesh played a role in the film?
"No, for a change I am not there in Dhanak. Not even for a passing shot. In fact, the producers kept insisting. But the roles being offered to me were truck drivers and labourers. I firmly declined," says Nagesh who played a despicable pimp in his last film Lakshmi.
Laughs Nagesh, "That was a completely dark and despicable world. It is important to show that world in our films so we can appreciate this other world of hope and innocence in Dhanak. We took the film on a 5-city US tour and in one of the cities I was asked if Dhanak was my catharsis after Lakshmi. Perhaps I needed to get out of the dark mood."
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