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HindustanTimes Sun,26 Oct 2014

Top sportspersons to feature in national anthem for theatres

Shalvi Mangaokar, Hindustan Times  Mumbai, April 27, 2013
First Published: 11:35 IST(27/4/2013) | Last Updated: 12:52 IST(27/4/2013)

Come July, and every time you are at a multiplex to see a film, you will be singing the National Anthem along with the biggest names in Indian sports. The biopic on Indian Olympic sprinter Milkha Singh, called Bhaag Milkha Bhaag (BMB), starring Farhan Akhtar and Sonam Kapoor, will hit screens on July 12. And the film’s makers have devised a unique promotional strategy for the same.

A source close to the production house reveals that a video is being shot featuring prominent personalities from Indian sports, in which, they will all be seen singing the National Anthem. “Since the biopic tells the real-life story of a hero (Milkha Singh) who fights against the odds, the makers believe it is something that needs to be saluted. That’s how the idea of a National Anthem video featuring him and 12 contemporary sportspersons came about,” says an insider close to the production house.

Golfer Jeev Milkha Singh is already on board. The others being approached include Indian cricket captain

MS Dhoni, shuttler Saina Nehwal, shooter Abhinav Bindra, footballer Baichung Bhutia, boxer Vijender Singh, wrestler Sushil Kumar, tennis player Sania Mirza, weight lifter Geeta Rani, retired hockey player Dhanraj Pillay, chess grandmaster Viswanathan Anand and Formula 1 racer Narain Karthikeyan.

“At present, there are several versions of the National Anthem being played at different multiplexes. From July, they will all feature this new video.” This video will reportedly be shot by filmmaker Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra (director of BMB). “It’s yet to be decided whether the players will sing the National Anthem, or if playback singers will be roped in,” the source adds. On being contacted, an official spokesperson from BMB confirmed the news.

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