Challo Driver! And what a drive it was. Challo Driver was my maiden rather only Bollywood feature film venture till date and was released in 2012. After doing a course at New York Film Academy, I came back to base ie. Delhi. Making a film was constantly at the back of my mind, and I just thought to myself it’s now or never. Decided to take the plunge in 2009 and moved to Mumbai somewhere in mid of 2009. The script was already with me, I needed to get cracking on the casting.
With that finalized I started cast hunting. Then began the approach to the A-listers, like Katrina and Kangna Ranaut. The script was greatly appreciated and at one point Kangna gave a print interview where she announced accepting my film and roping in Aamir Khan! You know what they say, any publicity is good publicity. Quite a few months I was kept on tenterhooks and swinging between yes and maybes with nothing getting confirmed. Eventually, heeded the advice of my peers and decided to sign up newcomers in the industry rather than settling with any B-listers in between.
And that is how we got the cast and crew of Challo Dilli on the road! The movie was shot completely in Delhi over a comfortable space of 21 days!
we went to Mumbai to finish off editing and patchwork to get the film ready for distribution. Wave Group, Late Ponty Chadha decided to distribute our film.
All seemed to be going well till I found out my film was only going to play in Tier 2-3 cities in some 8-10 theatres. I remember sitting up all night wondering if this is how it was meant to be. I just had three days to turn this around and that’s what I did. It was frenzied action, back to back calls, meeting people, pulling out contacts – single-handedly. A whopping 87 theatres across India including PVR cinemas were playing my film! The film did alright, as did I.
I wanted to give it a go, and I did with all my heart and soul will all honesty. This was the toughest challenge till now because a lot was at stake and I had to depend on external factors. I realized at the end of it all, I am a fighter. I don’t give up. I don’t settle. I want the best and I won’t accept anything less. Challenges are meant to be overcome, and not succumbed to. Another milestone achieved with aplomb!