Ace filmmaker Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra is a happy man these days. After sweeping most of the popular awards earlier this year, his last release, Bhaag Milkha Bhaag (BMB) has won nine technical awards of the International Indian Film Academy (IIFA).
Mehra is also upbeat that he will have a clean sweep over other categories of the IIFA awards as well, that will be given away at Tampa Bay, Florida, this month.
“When I make a movie, I make it with a lot of passion ... I don’t make movies for awards but of course, it does feel good when your efforts are appreciated and recognised by your own community,” says the 50-year-old.
Currently, Mehra is working on a musical, Mirza Sahiba, based on a folklore set in Rajasthan. While in his earlier projects, he cast big names such as Amitabh Bachchan (Aks; 2001), Aamir Khan (Rang De Basanti; 2006), Abhishek Bachchan (Delhi 6; 2009) and Farhan Akhtar (BMB; 2013), Mirza Sahiba will see actor Anil Kapoor’s son Harshvardhan making his acting debut. “I couldn’t have taken an established star for this role because this is the story of a 22-year-old boy, so I needed a fresh face,” explains Mehra, adding, “It took me over two years to audition before I finalised Harshvardhan.
I have been working with him for a year now, and he has left everything else to focus on this film, so I’m pretty confident about him.” There has also been a lot of speculation about the female lead, with names like model Saiyami Kher and actor Ayesha Kapur doing the rounds. Mehra remains tightlipped about it, saying, “We’ll announce the names very soon.”