The Hindustan Times Trailblazer Award 2021: Jackky Bhagnani
His production venture, Bell Bottom is the first film to be shot from start to finish during the Covid-19 pandemic and Jackky Bhagnani couldn’t be prouder. The young producer and the cast and crew of the film flew off to UK to shoot in August last year and finished it on September 30.
Talking about the challenges that were before him, Bhagnani says, “It was very, very challenging because we went at a time when people were not even getting out of the house, they were that scared. It was such a time. But it was a collaborative effort on everyone. Primarily the first credit goes to Akshay (Kumar) sir. Him being the leader and him saying, ‘let’s do it’ is how it all happened. I am just very happy,” he shares.
Besides Kumar, the film stars Huma S Qureshi, Vaani Kpaoor, Lara Dutta and Adil Hussain and Bhagnani credits the whole team for making the shooting as smooth as it was.
“We had a very positive team. My dad (Vashu Bhagnani), my sister (Deepshikha Deshmukh), Ranjit, the director and all our actors. We all flew together, all 120 people would be together all the time and during the shoot every 7 days, we were Covid testing. It was not easy, it was a production nightmare but we wouldn’t have been able to do it if it wasn’t for this crew,” the actor-producer adds.
Not just a logistical challenge but shooting the film was also an uphill task, financially, according to Bhagnani.
“The expenditure was more than normal. But we still took that plunge. We knew that if we achieved this, we would go down in history. We wanted to be the flag bearers. So we took this strategic call. We were like someone has to get out there and do it. Pehli baar aisa laga ki industry ke log bahut khush hai. I can never forget this experience,” he says.