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‘Saina’ was about to be sidelined four times: Amole Gupte

Filmmaker Amole Gupte said on Monday he was relieved that his ambitious next project ‘Saina’, a biopic about badminton player Saina Nehwal, is ready for theatrical release after nearly being shelved several times in the past. The project was first announced in 2017, with actor Shraddha Kapoor attached to play the lead role. As preparations were in full swing, ”Saina” hit a roadblock when Kapoor pulled out of the project. In 2019, actor Parineeti Chopra came on board to play the role. While launching the trailer for ‘Saina’, Gupte acknowledged the support of producer Bhushan Kumar, who kept the film going even when it was going to be put on the back burner. “I can’t forget Bhushan Kumar’s strong and rocky support. The film was about to be shelved four times. He asked me: ‘Shouldn’t we (make the film)? I am here.’ ”It’s the strength of the man who stood behind me. Otherwise, we wouldn’t have reached this (stage) today,’ the director told reporters here. At the trailer launch, which Chopra also attended, when Gupte was asked the reason for Kapoor’s departure from the film, the director said he couldn’t speak much as he had recently recovered. of COVID-19. ”What did you say? I couldn’t hear. I can’t answer this question, I’m shivering, he joked and asked to move on to the next question. The film marks Gupte’s return to directing, four years after his last feature ”Sniff”. The director has previously directed acclaimed films like the sports drama ‘Hawa Hawai’ (2014) and the 2011 hit ‘Stanley Ka Dabba’. Gupte said he was attached to “Saina” when producer Sujay Jairaj approached him after he bought the rights to Nehwal’s life for a screen adaptation in 2015.

The story of Nehwal’s rise as the daughter of a middle class family in Haryana to become the world’s No. 1 badminton player was fascinating, the director added. “Imagine the amount of emotions in a life story where a simple mother and a lower middle class father from Haryana raise a daughter who becomes world number 1. There were a lot of emotions,” said Gupte .

He said the family’s emotional journey struck a chord with him, something he attempted to convey in the film. ”If there is harmony in a family, the ups and downs of emotions can be recorded, observed, put on paper like a poet, a playwright, a lyricist or a filmmaker. ”I have never commercialized my life. I don’t make a product but films, which are my passion…” he added. “Saina” is set to be released on March 26. The film also stars Meghna Malik and Manav Kaul.

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