Farukh Kabir’s soon-to-release film,
Allah Ke Bande
, toplining Naseeeruddin Shah, Sharman Joshi and Kabir himself, was shot over 62 days in 47 locations around the city.
“Since we were shooting in ‘live’ spaces, we had to contend with cops, crowds, traffic, BNS, crew, chaos, and yes, local goons too,” says writer-actor-director Kabir.
When in Trombay’s Cheetah Camp, they loaded equipment into a van after “pack-up” and prepared to drive away, only to find that the back tires were missing. Petty thieves had been at work.<b1>
In Bhandup where a number of
s hole up, they found support from one local group but upset another who believed they had been cut out of their share. “Aggrieved, they planned to waylay our production controller when he was biking back home, beat him up and offload him of all the cash,” informs Kabir.
Fortunately, they got wind of the devious plan and, for the next five days, huddled around in groups with extra security, before other locals intervened and made peace.
“We were shooting in slums perched atop hillocks. It was guerilla-style filmmaking with hidden cameras and a crew of about 45 since there were times when we shot without the required permission,” admits Kabir. “It helped that I had storyboarded every scene since speed was of essence.”
But weren’t his stars recognised and mobbed? He says that with Naseeruddin Shah they didn’t take chances and shot in ‘controlled’ locations. But Joshi and Atul Kulkarni ventured into unknown territory with them. “Fortunately, since he sports a different look, Sharman wasn’t easy to identify initially. But later, got his share of attention. So did Atul, particularly in the hardcore Maharastrian areas,” says Kabir.
However, the real star, he insists, was Saksham Kulkarni, the National Award winning child star of
Pak Pak Pakak
. Kabir smiles, “At one place, a crowd of 1,000 had gathered for his autographs. That was a real eye-opener!”