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HindustanTimes Sat,25 Oct 2014

Action off lens

Usmeet Kaur , Hindustan Times  Chandigarh, February 15, 2013
First Published: 10:08 IST(15/2/2013) | Last Updated: 10:09 IST(15/2/2013)

Curious after the mysterious invite extended by one of Punjabi films’ reigning actors —Neeru Bajwa — many turned up at JW Marriott in Sector 35, Chandigarh on Thursday, wondering what the impending announcement could be about.

But, no one could have guessed it was business on her mind, as the pretty actor launched her own film production house, Fresh Air Movies, aimed at bringing “a breath of fresh air in Punjabi cinema.” Her first film will star iconic singer-actor Gurdas Maan and Punjabi actor Diljit Dosanjh.

“The idea struck me two years ago, when I was shooting in Shimla,” explains Neeru about how she came to be a producer. “Later, on the sets of my film, Jatt & Juliet, I discussed with dear friend Diljit about wanting to make a film with Gurdas Maan ji and him in it,” she adds.

Neeru says that to her good fortune, Gurdas Maan agreed to be a part of her production house’s debut venture, slated to release on June 27, 2014. A musical extravaganza, it will be directed by Pankaj Batra. Her intention, adds Neeru, will be to give back to Punjabi cinema, which has endowed her with much fame. “I thought it was time to give back to the Punjabi film industry by promoting good scriptwriters and filmmakers with passion and offering employment to Punjab’s youth.

My foremost aim would be to create respect, equality and more employment for women,” she claims, adding, “I promise not to be a part of every film that I produce, and would instead be dedicatedly involved in my projects.”

Legendary Maan is as humble as always, saying, “Thanks to Neeru, iss nacheez Gurdas nu yaad kita (I thank Neeru for remembering a nobody like Gurdas). On working with the new generation of actors, the singer comments, “I feel encouraged for they thought of working with an old artist like me. They are the stars of this era, so it’s a pleasure being around them and contributing to the growth of the industry.”

Meanwhile, dressed to the hilt in a black tuxedo and red turban, complete with a pocket square, Diljit is all praise for Neeru. “She is the first heroine that I saw in Punjabi cinema, and by now I have done three films with her while the fourth will be releasing under her dream project,” he says. When asked if he had any plans of launching his own production house, Diljit laughs, saying, “Whatever money I had was taken away by income tax officials.” Neeru intervens, saying Diljit is a “talented actor with no ego hassles.” “One thing that I really like about him is that he is God-loving.”

At the event, Maan also shared information about his upcoming film, Punjabi-e-Zubane, which would star Neeru Bajwa amongst others.

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