Jackky Bhagnani's Youngistaan: Playing politics in Japan

Written by Priya Adivarekar | Mumbai | Updated: Mar 31 2014, 20:10pm hrs
Shooting in Japan was a schedule full of surprises for the cast and crew of Youngistaan. Key portions of the film were shot in the country, since Jackky Bhagnanis character Abhimanyu Kaul and Kayoze Iranis character of a game developer are shown to be initially working in Japan and life comes to a full circle when Jackky goes back to Japan as the Prime Minister of India to deliver a speech.

Director Syed Ahmad Afzal confessed that although shooting was great fun, the process of getting permissions sorted was a tough task. We did some recce and locked the required locations, which included the historic Kyoto International Conference Centre (KICC), where the United Nations General Assembly took place. But since the country is extremely disciplined, we were told that the shooting permissions had to be taken two months in advance. We kept trying our best to convince the officials and finally, they gave us the nod, stated Afzal adding that it was producer Vashu Bhagnani who took a lot of efforts to see that the unit got the desired location and continued shooting smoothly.

Filming a crucial sequence at KICC was a big honour for the team. Although the United Nations does not allow films to be shot there, producer Bhagnani considers himself lucky to have got this opportunity. The conference centre is usually booked years in advance, but due to Gods grace, we got the necessary permissions in just two days. While the charges to get this venue were extremely nominal, it was a big thing for the entire team. It is not everyday that you see such an important structure in a Bollywood film, stated Vashu Bhagnani.

Breaking the barrier

Language barrier was a major problem that the team battled with in Japan, since no one in the cast or crew understood Japanese. Imagine asking for water and not getting it! We used to go without water for hours while working. We ultimately realised that we had to say H2O instead of water. Thats when things got normal, stated Jackky, who added that hiring a translator wasnt a valid option either, since most of their time was spent in getting the crew in place and completing the location permission formalities. As the crew taken from India was very small, we hired local workers for departments like lighting, background and prop assistance among others, mentioned Afzal.

Produced by MSM Motion Pictures and Puja Films, Youngistaan is all set to release this Friday, March 28.

Fast forward

The promotional song of Yeh Hai Bakrapur was shot in less than 12 hours

It could be one of the fastest songs to be canned. The promotional video of Yeh Hai Bakrapur, which was filmed at Mumbais Film City Studios in the first week of March, was shot in less than 12 hours, says Janaki Vishwanathan, the films director. The track comprises almost the entire cast of the film and is a fusion between a bhajan and a qawwali.

There was a lot of preparation. The cast rehearsed for about four days; the set, too, was put up one day in advance so that no time was wasted. The most challenging part of the song was where lead actors Anshuman Jha and Yoshika Varma are shown dancing as puppets. Getting the perfect synchronisation between the persons behind the scene and the actors who, in turn, had to see that their hand movements and ropes were in sync was tough. The maximum time went into picturising that part, explains Vishwanathan.

The vibrant track centres around the residents of Bakrapur where the story of the social satire is set. It revolves around the Qureshi family and their much-sought after celebrity goat called Shahrukh. Written and directed by Vishwanathan, YHB is produced by Ramesh Srivatsava Arunachalam and releases on April 25. G S

Biwi O Biwi

When Kareena Kapoor Khan and Genelia DSouza learnt that their respective husbands, Saif Ali Khan and Ritiesh Deshmukh, were feeling home sick while shooting for Humshakals in Mauritius, the biwis immediately decided to pay them a visit. The duo even planned a small get-together for the entire cast and arranged a seafood and salad bash for everyone!