Imran Zahid: Despite the popularity of The Kerala Story, we have faith in our movie Ab Dilli Dur Nahin
Starring as a Bihari IAS aspirant from a humble background who goes on to be a topper in the civil services, Imran Zahid will be sure to enchant audiences, a play based on director Mahesh Bhatt’s films Arth, Daddy, and Hamari Adhuri Kahani, opening tomorrow.
Imran says, “Abhay Shukla, the character I play, is very much like me.” As a native of Bihar, I have firsthand knowledge of the challenges faced by today’s youth in their quest to build a name for themselves. It’s possible I’m not the ideal person to say this, but I think I’d be perfect for this role.
The surprisingly massive success of The Kerala Story hampered Imran’s intentions for a wide release of Ab Dilli Dur Nahin.
Imran, however, is unfazed. I was prepared for it. Six times I watched the trailer for The Kerala Story. I anticipated that it could spark some debate. The JNU (Jawaharlal Nehru University) screening was another astute move on their part. It’s true that due of “The Kerala Story,” we’ve had trouble getting into films. No news at all, as the saying goes. Without taking any offensive shots at any group, I believe we have created a film that will move people to tears. Our country’s educational system is open to people of all faiths and backgrounds. And that’s the area of film where I feel most at home.
Inmates of Tihar Jail, coached by designer Winky Singh, created the costumes for the Ab Dilli Dur Nahin. Imran said that the group’s goal was to create a “motivating story” about a young Bihari man’s aspirations to work his way up through the ranks of the civil service. Ab Dilli Dur Nahin breaks the rules of commercial Hindi cinema in every aspect, from the settings to the clothes. We believe that now is the time to share authentic narratives. Despite The Kerala Story, we believe in our film.