With Sadiyaan ready to open in the theatres in early April, producer Raj Kanwar is hoping the authorities grant permission to his heroine, Ferena Wazier, to visit India. The film is a love story between a Muslim girl and a Hindu boy that starts off during the Partition, but Wazier has been noticeably absent from all the promotional activity.
The director agrees that she had to skip even the audio release function hosted a couple of weeks ago. “Kya karen? The government has its own way of doing things,” he sighs. “Ferena is a Kashmiri Muslim with a UK passport. Her work permit has been delayed for quite a while now. I’m trying to sort things out.”
Luv Sinha, son of star-politician Shatrughan Sinha, makes his debut in the film opposite Wazier. When Kanwar spotted Luv in a restaurant, he didn’t know he was Sinha’s son. “All I saw was a boy with honesty and sincerity in his eyes and great body language. So I went up to him and asked him if he wanted to act in a movie. He agreed immediately and we met for a narration,” he recalls. “By then I had learnt he is Shatruji’s son. We screen-tested him for the part and he came on board.”
The director is quick to add that Luv liked the script first, before his parents even heard it. “The Sinhas had no reservations or apprehensions about him making his debut with me because they are familiar with my approach to filmmaking. Being a star son, there will be expectations,” says Kanwar, who’s Deewana launched Shah Rukh Khan. Apart from Rishi Kapoor, he’s also roped in Hema Malini and Rekha. “It took them barely five minutes to give the nod after hearing the script. If that’s not a miracle, then what is?” he beams.
The recently released Lahore may have has been banned in Pakistan, but Kanwar isn’t disturbed by the development. He says, “I’m sure my film will be welcomed and appreciated across the border.”