Vidhu Vinod Chopra inaugurates Sikandar photo exhibition

MUMBAI: Filmmaker Vidhu Vinod Chopra inaugurated a photo exhibition of scenic Kashmir taken during the filming of Sikandar , a film written and directed by Piyush Jha produced by BIG Pictures . The film is scheduled to release on 21 August , 2009 in India, US, UAE with the film rights been sold in Israel, Malaysia, Sri Lanka.

The entire cast of Sikandar was present at the inauguration of the photo exhibition – R Madhavan, Sanjay Suri, Parzaan Dastur, Ayesha Kapur, debutant Arunuday Singh along with Jha and producer Sudhir Mishra, who were ecstatic to bring their Kashmir memories in Mumbai, and relive them with fellow Mumbaikars. The exhibition will be on till 23 August, 2009.

Sikandar shot in location in Kashmir, with a running time of 110 minutes, is about a 14-year-old Kashmiri boy’s desire to play football, but his life track changes when he stumbles upon a gun one day.

It was befitting that Chopra inaugurate the exhibition – being a Kashmiri himself, he has two of his hit films in the Valley. “I made Khamosh more than two decades ago and I again revisited the Valley for Mission Kashmir in 2000. So much has changed between this period, and yet much is still the same. I am glad that along with Sikandar this photo exhibition will bring to the fore the idea that Kashmir is indeed paradise on Earth, and this paradise in our own country,” said Chopra.

BIG Pictures COO Mahesh Ramanathan says, "Sikandar photo exhibition, will remind cinephiles and filmmakers that the beauty of Kashmir is unsullied by the ravages of inimical forces. Sikandar also will remind film makers of the evergreen film hits of the past that were shot extensively in Kashmir. After the release of Sikandar, hopefully more producers will return to patronise this film maker’s paradise"

Jha said, “After I set the story in Kashmir, the visual metaphor I strived for, was to contrast the beauty of ‘Mother Nature’, against the  cruelty of human nature. Actually, Sikandar is a film which could be set anywhere – as it deals with the universal manipulation of adolescence by the nasty games played by adults. Having said that, I’d like to add that, Sikandar is not at all a preachy film. It is an exciting suspense thriller with its heart in the right place.”

Jha added that his actors – Parzaan and Ayesha – have proved that a typical adult hero and heroine are not necessarily the only ingredients for a film to sell. “Both Parzaan and Ayesha have done a stupendous job and this proves that a film can surely be successful with 14-year-old as protagonists, without it being termed as a ‘children’s film ‘,” Jha elaborated.

These photos have been shot by location still photographer- Pramod Gawade, production designer- Shruti Gupte, Jha and Ayesha Kapur’s mother Jacqueline Kapur.

Sikandar stars Parzaan Dastur,Ayesha Kapur, Arunoday Singh along with Madhavan and Sanjay Suri.