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Udta Punjab: Making The Cut

Phantom Films and Balaji Motion Pictures’ Udta Punjabhas got a clean chit from the Bombay High Court and the film is all set to release on schedule, on June 17. The producers – Ekta Kapoor, Vikas Bahl, Madhu Mantena, Anurag Kashyap, Aman Gill, director Abhishek Chaubey and leading star cast Shahid Kapoor, Diljit Dosanjh and Alia Bhatt – held a press conference today, and thanked the media for standing by the film. Here’s what happened at the do:

Anurag Kashyap on the film finally getting a release

I am glad the film is releasing with only one cut. I would like to thank everyone who stood by us, from our fans, to the industry, to you (media) and the judiciary who finally gave us our due. It was a long process but I am glad the entire industry got together and fought against the injustice.

Shahid Kapoor on Udta Punjab

I am really happy that the film is releasing just as we wanted it to. I respect the one cut they have asked for even though it’s my scene and I would have loved the audience to watch it. But justice has been done. This film is very close to my heart. After I read the script, it took only a few minutes for me to decide to do the film. I am happy the film will release with the vision we had.

Alia Bhatt on the film

I don’t understand censorship, so when the controversy happened, I asked my father, ‘why?’ He made me understand that he too had been fighting for it for a long time. Udta Punjab is a film that will tell you what is happening to a certain section of the youth and that we should be aware of it.

Anurag Kashyap on actors

Shahid Kapoor and Alia Bhatt are very commercial actors, and when Shahid read the script, he decided to step out of his comfort zone and do the film. In fact, he asked Alia to give it a chance. Actors usually play safe but these actors decided to do a different film because they assumed a responsibility, that this story should be told.

Alia Bhatt on her character

I play a girl from Bihar but it’s not like I am speaking in Bihari in the film; it’s the character. The character potrays where the girl is coming from, the condition under which she is working, and why she has to leave her state and shift to another one. That appealed me. I didn’t exactly relate to the character but I did empathise with the character, which is about going through so much just to be able to survive.

Ekta Kapoor on the film

Phantom and Balaji Motion Pictures decided to make the film because they believed in the concept and in the director. Now we are releasing the film in India and I am happy that it is releasing. I also thank the people who stood by us; the fight was just not just ours but of the entire industry. Since his first film, Anurag has been fighting the same battle. Hats off to him. He took the charge and went ahead with the situation and now his film is releasing next week.

Abhishek Chaubey on the film

Since I am a director, I know what it takes to make a film and what happens during its release. Anurag completely devoted himself to Udta Punjab. Believe me, it’s a story that woll connect with many people.

Shahid Kapoor on the issue

When I read the script, it actually made me worry about my younger brother and my family. It’s not about one state or one section of people’; it can happen to anyone, to any family. It’s an issue I wanted to raise, one that should be spoken about. Hollywood doesn’t shy away from showing people using drugs on screen but, here, we are creating awareness.

Soumita Sengupta
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