Anurag Kashyap and Ram Gopal Varma talk about such protests and government’s apathy towards filmmakers
Hiren Kotwani (BOMBAY TIMES; November 6, 2012)
Last Saturday (November 3), members of Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) apparently disrupted the shoot of Akshay Kumar-starrer Khiladi 786 at a South Mumbai college. The political party workers alleged that the Akshay-Himesh Reshammiya production venture couldn’t be shot on the premises as exams were underway. Sources say the film crew reportedly suffered a loss of about Rs 22 lakh due to cancellation of the day’s shoot.
The night before (on Friday), Samajwadi Party (SP) workers reportedly landed up at a Colaba restaurant to protest against Ram Gopal Varma’s film on the 26/11 terror attack on Mumbai. But it was Anurag Kashyap who was shooting there for his film Ugly.
Apparently, the MNS workers stormed into the college after Akshay had left, and found director Ashish R Mohan shooting there with the junior artists. “If the MNS had problems with the shoot, they should have voiced it to the college management, who gave the permission,” said our source, adding that the party workers indulged in “tod-phod, damaging some tables and chairs”.
“Besides, the 400 junior artists had to be called another day. So, their charges, etc were added to the cost.”
Fortunately, Kashyap’s shoot didn’t suffer any damage as Amitabh Gupta, Additional Commissioner of Police, is said to have informed the director in advance about the SP protesters’s plans and also sent extra security to the venue.
Says Anurag, “The moment the protesters realised it was my film, they left us alone. But anyways, our films have been soft targets for political parties all the time. Till the Centre, the I & B Ministry and all concerned don’t start taking cinema seriously and continue to force us to make kiddish films, it’s not going to end.”
On his part, RGV says, “I truly think it has become fashionable for political and other parties to protest without even knowing what the film is about. I’m making the film based on authentic police records and eyewitness accounts, and I’m not suggesting any conspiracy theories.”