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Waiting for the moon

Faaiz Anwaar's highly controversial "Chand Bujh Gaya" won't be able to kiss the silver screen in Gujarat.



A scene from "Chand Bujh Gaya."

BARELY COULD producer Faaiz Anwaar and director Sharique Minhaj enjoy the clearing of Chand Bujh Gaya by the Mumbai High Court, that another impediment blocked their way. The Chief Minister of Gujarat, Narendra Modi has banned this film on Godhra carnage in Gujarat. The film is scheduled to release elsewhere this Friday. Informs Sharique Minhaj, "Our distributor in Gujarat called up to say he has received threats from the higher-ups in the dispensation. We had a talk with the President of the Theatre Association of Gujarat. He is saying he does not want to earn enmity with `neta log'. Now theatre owners are asking for their money back."

Poet and lyricist Faaiz Anwaar who has penned songs for hit films like Dil Hai Ki Manta Nahin, Sajan etc., was warned by Mahesh Bhatt during the making of the film. "He said to me, `Tumne aag main nahin, barood main hath dala hai.' I was facing problems in Mumbai and Saurashtra from the very beginning. I recorded the voice of my distributor in Mumbai who told me on phone that the theatre owners were being harassed by some unknown elements. Now in Gujarat, the film is banned. What can be a bigger jinx than this? How can anyone ban a film cleared by the court?" asks Anwaar.

Filmmakers like Sashilal Nair and Farukh Siddiqui were ready to make this film but they had date problems. Same was the case with the big stars. And he wanted to make it "early and in a small budget". It took him five months and Rs.1.75 crore to complete the film.

Anwaar has been accused of showing sensitive Hindu-Muslim issues in the film. "The film is only about Godhra episode and Gujarat carnage. It is the truth that I gathered through numerous newspapers," he clarifies.

But patience at his end seems to be giving up now. "If the film gets released all over India this Friday, it is fine. Else I will not release the film at all. People are asking me to release it later but I am tired now. Aaraam se zindagi basar kar raha tha. Ab bezaar ho gaya hoon."

But of course, he hasn't given up on life, or filmmaking rather. This scriptwriter of Koi Mere Dil Main Hai is ready with his next film, Saathi. He has produced, directed and penned its songs. It is a love story with a fresh cast. The film got competed in three months. It will be released in April this year.

A quick affair?

Agar chand sach main bujh gaya to kya khaoonga, he throws a rhetoric.

A million dollar question!

RANA SIDDIQUI

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