" No, for a change, I am not there in 'Dhanak'. Not even for a passing shot. In fact, the producers kept insisting. But the roles being offered to me were truck drivers and labourers. I firmly declined, said Kukunoor, who played a despicable pimp in his last film Lakshmi."
By Subhash K. Jha

Mumbai, Dec 20 - Indian filmmaker Nagesh Kukunoor, whose new film Dhanak has been invited for the Generation Kplus programme of the 65th Berlin International Film Festival 2015, where it will also have its world premiere, says it's a great validation for a project made with passion.

One makes all of one's films with equal passion. But when one of them gets a special validation of this kind, it feels like balm on the soul.There are eight films in the Generation Kplus section. And we're one of them, said the ecstatic award winning filmmaker.

Now begins the struggle to carry the film and its core cast of the eight-year-old Krish Chabria and the nine-year old Hetal Gada to Berlin to be present for the honour in February 2015.

Apparently Dhanak, intended as a small-budget film had to bear with unforeseen expenses.

We had to fly actors for even the smallest roles from Mumbai to Rajasthan. Using local actors was not an option because there were no actors where we were shooting. Now I am hoping and praying that we can afford to fly the two kids to the Berlin, he said.

And what was the reaction of the children?

Nothing, laughed Nagesh.

They know nothing about Berlin and festivals. So they were like 'Thank you, Uncle!' I think I'd have got a better reaction if I had given them one bar each of chocolate...Actually, it's this innocence that makes 'Dhanak' the special film that it is.

Considering there was a budget problem regarding the actor's travel tickets, has Kukunoor himself played a role in the film?

No, for a change, I am not there in 'Dhanak'. Not even for a passing shot. In fact, the producers kept insisting. But the roles being offered to me were truck drivers and labourers. I firmly declined, said Kukunoor, who played a despicable pimp in his last film Lakshmi.

That was a completely dark and despicable world. It is important to show that world in our films so we can appreciate this other world of hope and innocence in 'Dhanak'. We took the film on a five-city US tour and in one of the cities I was asked if 'Dhanak' was my catharsis after 'Lakshmi'. Perhaps, I needed to get out of the dark mood, he said.


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