By Hindustan Times
Zoya Akhtar has been discreetly working on two assignments. One is her next feature film as director after Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara (2011). The other is a 25-minute short film, which pays tribute to the Indian film industry that completes a century next year. For the latter, she’s not
working alone. There are as many as four other top directors who are preparing their films as homage. The list includes R Balki, who directed Amitabh Bachchan in Paa (2009) and Cheeni Kum (2007), and Dibakar Bannerjee, who is currently working on Shanghai.
Producer Ritesh Sidhwani of Excel Entertainment, the company helming Zoya’s movie, says, “We’re really proud of her. She’s been burning the midnight oil to give the short film its desired shape and colour. It would be unfair if my partner Farhan (producer-director-actor-singer-writer Farhan Akhtar) or I gave away the actual content of her movie. But we can promise that it’s a beautiful film that pays tribute to one of the biggest and oldest film industries in the world. It’s a beautiful story woven around filmmaking.”
As for her next after ZNMD, Farhan says, “Zoya’s working on a couple of subjects right now. She doesn’t want to make any announcements till she’s ready. But we plan to make a formal announcement about her film and a host of others, including one each by Abhishek Kapoor and Abhinay Deo, in a few months, maybe in June.”
And would one be the sequel of Zindagi…? “It is on Zoya’s mind, but I don’t think she plans to do it immediately,” says Ritesh. “She’s fully aware that people are expecting to know what happened to the boys in the movie. So the sequel will happen at some point when Zoya and Reema (director-writer Reema Kagti) find a story to narrate. Till then, they both want to do something different as writers and directors because that will keep their creative energy going.”
Farhan seconds Ritesh. He says, “Last year, we had three-four films in different stages of production. So we didn’t have the time to figure life. And our silence was taken for granted. People thought we had split because I took up Bhaag Milkha Bhaag. That’s not true and people will believe us when we bring our projects to the table in a few months.”