Sanjay Dutt
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No Munnabhai without Sanjay Dutt: Rajkumar Hirani

Sanjay Dutt

Director Rajkumar Hirani has finally revealed that work on the next instalment of the Munna Bhai franchise will start once actor Sanjay Dutt is out of prison.

"Right now, Munna Bhai (Dutt) is not here. Whenever he comes back, we will make a film," said Hirani, at the 18th International Children’s Film Festival (ICFF) in Hyderabad. “It’s being written. It is too early to discuss subjects," he added.

At the ICFF, Hirani also admitted that since films are usually market-driven, there is a dearth of space for kids’ films. When asked if he himself ever thought of making a film only for children, he said, “I never had the idea of making a children’s film. But after having seen so many children here, I want to make one."

Return Gift — a short film directed by Hirani’s 14-year-old son Vir — premiered at the festival last week. The four-minute film made by the teenaged son of the 3 Idiots director, is based on a true story of his grandmother. It was well received by school kids, their teachers and parents who watched the film during the ongoing 18th International Children's Film Festival, India.

"I had never thought about making films on children. But after seeing so many kids and their involvement in movies, I feel I should make one. I would love to make a children's film," Hirani said after the screening of films made by young directors aged between 6 and 16. He was proud of his son.

"As a father, I feel good. He (Vir) is shy, he didn't even want me to be here," said Hirani, who believes technology has eased the process of filmmaking.

"If you have a camera on your phone, and a great idea, then shoot it. There are editing softwares too. This wasn't the case when I wanted to get into filmmaking," he said.