Dil Bole Hadippa, which stars Shahid Kapur and Rani Mukerji, became the first Bollywood film to premiere at the ongoing Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) before its release in India. And debutant director Anurag Singh just can't contain his excitement.
"I am over the moon at this privilege given to Dil Bole Hadippa to be the first-ever Bollywood film to be premiered at the Toronto festival before its release in India," Anurag, son of producer K.P. Singh, told IANS here.
"It is a family entertainment masala which will appeal to anyone. Its rip-roaring music will be a hit, I guess," he said.
Set wholly in rural Punjab, the Yash Raj Films production also stars Sherlyn Chopra, Anupam Kher, Dalip Tahil and Rakhi Sawant. Singh said they chose the Punjabi-sounding title and Punjab for the shooting because of the north Indian state's cultural vibrancy and its global appeal.
"Another unique thing about this film-cum-comedy is that there is no trace of any city or skyscrapers in it. We did all our shooting in villages outside Chandigarh, Ludhiana, and Amritsar over 80 days," he said.
Asked why he chose Rani and Shahid for the lead role, he said: "I wanted to bring in a pair which had never worked together before. There is some sort of freshness about Rani and Shahid working together. There was instant chemistry between the two. For Shahid, it is an entirely different role after Kaminey."
Singh, who has assisted Rakesh Roshan in five films, said he was asked to direct Dil Bole Hadippa by Aditya Chopra, his childhood friend. And it was while writing the script that Singh visualised Rani and Shahid as the lead pair.
"When Aditya and I were working on the script, we had only Rani and Shahid in mind. The two agreed to the role the moment we sat with them with the script," Singh said.
"Aditya, Hrithik Roshan and I grew up together. In fact, Aditya and I watched every single movie every Friday for 20 years. So doing Dil Bole... is kind of a home production for me. And it was Hrithik who asked me to work with his dad. I have learnt my art from Rakesh Roshan," he said.
The film is set for release in India and 20-odd countries on September 18.
Singh, who has a three-film contract with Yash Raj Films, said he looked forward to a break before starting on his next venture.
"I will take a month's break and then think about the next film," said the director who also co-produced films like Hum To Mohabbat Karega and Jurm.
What's your Rashee? is another Bollywood film being premiered next week at the festival that is on till September 19.