Mumbai, Jul 17 (PTI) Director Abhishek Sharma says his debut satire “Tere Bin Laden” will always remain special as the film continues to find love even after a decade of its release.
The story of the film revolved around an ambitious young reporter (Ali Zafar) in Pakistan, who, in his desperation to migrate to the United States, makes a video of a fake Osama bin Laden (Pradhuman Singh) and sells it to TV channels.
Laden was yet to be caught at the time of the film’s release on July 16, 2010. The film is a spoof on America's war against terror and realities of the post-9/11 world.
'I am so overwhelmed with the love for the film even after ten years. The post 9/11 world was very scary back then. I wanted to make a film on it but in a comical way. Despite it being comedy, I wanted it to be true to the subject and so we set it in Pakistan despite it being a Bollywood film,' Sharma told PTI.
This is why, he said, all the characters in the film are Pakistani.
'I thought Islamaphobia and war on terror were very much related to that part of the world. I am glad we had the courage to make the film that time,' he added.
Sharma, who has made films like 'Parmanu: The Story of Pokhran', 'The Zoya Factor”, said he travelled to Pakistan to get a sense of the place before recreating that world in India.
'The way Pakistan was shown in films was superficial, gimmicky and stereotypical. We wanted to show an authentic version. So we took a trip to Pakistan in 2008 with my art director. We knew we were not shooting in Pakistan but we had to recreate it, so we went there and did our research.' The writer-director said he was amazed with the warmth and love he received from the people of Pakistan during his stay.
'Once we were there, people gave us a lot of love… We had a good time doing our research and the visit helped us bring authenticity. 'Tere Bin Laden' is the most authentic film on Pakistan.' Mohammad Ahmad, a senior writer from Pakistan and Zafar, a prominent actor-singer from the country, helped Sharma's team bring an authentic feel to the movie. 'The idea was to give the Bollywood audience the real feeling of how Pakistan is as the story is set there,” he added. The film faced difficulties in finding a distributor as it did not fall into the category of a typical Bollywood movie but film's producers Pooja and Aarti Shetty were sure about the film. When filmmaker Boney Kapoor saw the film, he loved it and offered to distribute it.
The film was banned in Pakistan at the time of its release.
'The people of Pakistan wanted to watch it and they saw it on pirated DVDs and loved it. The government decided to ban it, now in hindsight I understand why, because Laden was living there and nine months after the release of the film, was killed in Pakistan,' he said. PTI KKP SHD BK BK