Turkey victim's tiger trail

Rizvi's film was shot in the sunderbans

By Our Bureau
  • Published 2.01.17
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A former employee of the nightclub reacts outside following the attack in Istanbul on Sunday. (Reuters)

Jan. 1: Abis Hasan Rizvi's horror movie was shot amid the snakes and tigers of the Sunderbans two years ago. The horror that ended his life struck amid flying confetti at a New Year celebration.

Abis, Bollywood producer and son of a former MP, and Gujarat's Khushi Shah were the two Indians known killed when a terrorist mowed down 39 revellers in an Istanbul nightclub early today.

Rizvi was director and CEO of the Rizvi Group of companies, which included Abis Rizvi Films that went by the tagline: "Ushering in a new era of high-concept films in India".

The company produced the 2014 movie Roar: Tigers of the Sundarbans. Screened at the Film Mart section at Cannes in 2014, it had Oscar winner Resul Pookutty as the sound designer.

Pookutty today tweeted: "Just got2 knw the shocking news of my dear friend & producer#AbisRizvi passing away at the #Turkey shooting, it's so cruel & saddest day fr me."

He added: "Biggest lesson on New Year day, Life is so short, #RIPAbisRizvi. We will miss you, your exuberance and infectious energy."

Indian officials in Istanbul said they had not yet received any reports of other Indians being killed, or any Indian being among the 60-odd injured, now being treated at hospitals in Istanbul.

"There are no other Indians injured in the attack, according to the information we have at the moment," Sanjay Bharadwaj, consul at the Indian consulate there, told this newspaper from Istanbul.

Foreign minister Sushma Swaraj announced the two Indians' death around 7pm. "I have a bad news from Turkey," she tweeted. "We have lost two Indian nationals in the Istanbul attack."

Sushma then spoke to Abis's father Akhtar Hasan Rizvi, former Rajya Sabha member and Nationalist Congress Party general secretary, and Khushi's father Ashok. Officials had already informed both, diplomats here said.

Family members of both Indian victims left for Istanbul tonight with emergency visas issued by the Turkish embassy in New Delhi. They were expected to be received at the airport tomorrow morning by Rahul Kulshreshtha, the Indian ambassador in Turkey who had flown to Istanbul from the embassy's base in Ankara.

Roar, starring Subrat Dutta and Nora Fatehi, was shot in the Sunderbans for 35 days in 2013.

"We lived in three ships. There were two ships to get food and water for the 180-strong crew. There were wild animals all around us. There were cub marks and snakes hissing around all the time," Subrat had told this newspaper then.

Michael Watson, the operating cameraman for Brad Pitt's The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, had worked on Roar's cinematography with a Helicam used in the Bond film Skyfall.

The company website said the Rizvi Group's focus was on real estate development.