‘Blessed to have Masterji choreographed her last song for us!’
Film director Rajesh Bhatt feels blessed that ace-choreographer Saroj Khan, who passed away on Friday, had done her last project for his next film. “Masterji choreographed a peppy item song for us that we shot on February 27-28, this year. We shot the song on Deepshikha Nagpal while she was present on the set,” said the filmmaker who hails from Dehradun.
Rajesh also shared that Khan was not keeping well during the shoot. “Masterji was unwell yet she was so lively on sets and brought life to the song. She blessed us all and her presence did spread great enthusiasm amongst us,” he said over the phone.
Giving details about his project he said, “I am directing this untitled film. The working title is ‘Production No 1’ and it has Ranjeet, Govind Namdev and Yashpal Sharma. We have shot some portions before the lockdown. Since then, the script has been re-worked and new actors which we are yet to announce. The film has been produced by Sanjay Kumar Singh.” They will be shooting the film in Rajasthan.
During the lockdown, he prepared for another film ‘College Crush’ that has been written and scripted by Adesh K Arjun.
The tentative casting is with us. We will be launching legendary actor Manoj Kumar’s grandson Vash Goswami and YouTube star-singer Parul Chauhan. The film will also have Hema Malini, Zeenat Aman, Asha Parekh, Raj Babbar and Annu Kapoor. All these great actors have already worked in films made by our producer’s Rana SP Singh and Sohail Amrohi.”
UK-based music director Channi Singh of ‘Yalgaar’ and ‘Janasheen’ fame is composing for them. “We will be shooting from Diwali in Dehradun if all goes well. We expect Uttarakhand chief minister to give us the ‘mahurat’ shot for which we have got a nod as well.”
Talking about his early days he said, “I was born and brought up in Dehradun. I have studied in DAV College. My first work in the film industry was ‘Daga’, a short film on Indira Gandhi’s assignation which I wrote along with screenplay and dialogue. I shifted to Mumbai in 1986 and started as an assistant director with actor Vidhya Sinha’s production, ‘Singhasan Battisi’. I assisted in projects like ‘Darar’, ‘Waris’, ‘Lava’, Honi Anhoni’ and ‘Lal Dupatta Malmal Kal’.”
His first film as director was ‘Nazar’ followed by ‘Bazar’. “My directorial ‘Kaun Hai Jo Sapno Main Aya’ (2004) became the first film to get a subsidy from London. It was screened at the Cannes Film Festival and thereafter I was honoured with a doctorate from Halifax University, USA. I shot ‘Babul Pyare’ which was dubbed in five languages. Besides, I have done a lot of music videos, ad and short films,” said Rajesh who was in Lucknow in December, 2019 for an award function.