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I almost lost hope to make `Udaan`: Vikramaditya Motwane

Cannes: Hindi film `Udaan`, which the only entry from India in the ongoing Cannes Film Festival, was almost shelved as director Vikramaditya Motwane faced rejection after rejection for his script.

The festival had resisted selecting any work from India. Murali Nair`s Malayalam entry, `Arimpara` in 2003 was the last film from India to make it to the official section of Cannes.

Motwane has broken that barrier, and his first work has been chosen to play in the festival`s second most important section after Competition, A Certain Regard.

But the young director, who wrote the script in 2003, had a hard time convincing producers to put money into his dream project.

"I could not find money to make it. Some found the script hollow without conviction, others lambasted the concept. But when I met Anurag Kashyap, he immediately agreed to finance the film and even wrote the dialogue for it," Motwane told reporters here.

When Kashyap, known for films like `Dev D`, `Gulal` and `Black Friday`, agreed to back up Motwane, it took just 42 days to shoot the movie.

Produced by the newly established Anurag Kashyap Films, `Udaan` is two hours seventeen minutes long and is the story of a boy as he grows up in an emotional vacuum.

Having studied in a boarding school, he has not seen his father in eight years, and the movie starring television actors Ronit Roy and Ram Kapoor and debutante Rajat Barmecha traces their relationship as it struggles to take off.

Motwane said that the movie had autobiographical elements in it, like perhaps any other first work. It could be a book, it could be a film.

Before Udaan`s inclusion in the festival`s official lineup was announced in Paris on April 15, nobody had heard of Motwane. His earlier claim to fame was his association with
director Sanjay Leela Bhansali.

Motwane had helped Bhansali with `Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam` and `Devdas`, which was screened in Cannes in 2002 as part of the Special section.

The only other Indian work to be shown at Cannes this year is Mrinal Sen`s newly restored 1984 `Khandar` and Ritwik Ghatak`s 1973 `Titash Ek Nadir Naam` at the `Classics` section.

PTI

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