India Diaspora
See 'Parzania', take a stand: director
Jan 18, 2007 - 7:46:08 AM

New Delhi, Jan 18 - After languishing in the cans for months, NRI director Rahul Dholakia's critically acclaimed 'Parzania' - the true story of a boy who went missing in the 2002 Gujarat riots - will finally see commercial release next week.

'It really feels good that finally my film will be released. It has been going on since I started making the film. First research work took time, then finding producers was a difficulty and when I completed the film, distributors were reluctant to buy it,' Dholakia told IANS in an interview.

'It's not that they didn't like it, but they had their own reservations. Marketing wise they were not in tune. Some wanted to sensationalise the subject but I was not very keen.'

When Dholakia couldn't find a suitable distributor he launched his own company Serene Picture Classics to release the film.

'Finally, I launched my own company, which is releasing this film. The aim of the company is to distribute such movies. We will start with our film and if it works we will take other films,' Dholakia said.

'Parzania', which stars Naseeruddin Shah and Sarika, will hit the screens across the nation Jan 25. Both PVR Cinemas and INOX will show the film.

Talking about the hurdles that came his way, Dholakia said: 'I didn't know how to produce, distribute or market a film but while making this film I learned it. This is truly an independent film. It's like a one man show!'

The movie is based on the true story of Dara Modi and his family who lost their son, then 14, during the communal riots in Gujarat. The violence claimed over 1,000 lives, mostly Muslims.

Dholakia says when he visited the Parsi family this year during the kite flying festival, they requested him to release it in Gujarat because they wanted everybody to go and watch the movie to understand what they have been through.

'When I met my friend Dara Modi and his family this year, they requested me that I must show the film in Gujarat. They want everybody to see what the family went through. After meeting the family I got the strength to release the film in the state. I also want Gujarat to see the film. And why Gujarat? Everybody should see the film.'

Dholakia's film was screened at various film festivals in Italy, Bangkok and America and he says it got an overwhelming response.

'Wherever the film was screened, the audience was moved drastically by the film. The film cuts across emotional and cultural barriers. It works at all levels.'

Dholakia says he is grateful to Naseeruddin Shah for supporting it.

'When I narrated the film to Naseer, he agreed to do it right away. But he also said let's first complete the script and see how it shapes up. So we worked together on the script for six months.

'Post the film he gave it a lot of time. Recently, when his son met with an accident, I went to meet him and told him, 'This is not the right time to talk about it, but 'Parzania' needs promotion and your presence will be required.' He replied, 'Imaad is as much as my son as Parzania is my film'.

'He is accompanying me to Delhi and other places on the promotional tour. We will go to Ahmedabad too, may be closer to the release or after the release, I am not sure.'

'You have to believe in the film to promote it and you have to take a stand. And both Naseer and Sarika have taken their stand and I am very grateful to them for their support.'

Modi's son is still missing.

'He would have been 19 now. The family is still searching for the boy. They are not giving up hope and why should they! The biggest award for the film would be if we find the boy.'

Dholakia is keen to make more films but right now he is too preoccupied to conceptualise the ideas hovering in his mind.

'I don't know about future projects. I am too preoccupied with 'Parzania' to think about anything.'

All rights reserved by