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Jamshedpur's Udaan takes wing in Cannes - Film shot extensively in steel city is India's official entry in French festival

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ANTARA BOSE   |   Published 18.05.10, 12:00 AM

Jamshedpur, May 17: A film almost entirely shot in the steel city last year with local production crew and actors is India’s official entry in the ongoing 63rd Cannes Film Festival.

Anurag Kashyap Production’s Udaan, directed by Vikramaditya Motwane, is the first official Indian entry in the Un Certain Regard category of the festival in seven years. The last was Malayalam film Arimpara in 2003. Udaan is going to be screened at the Salle Debussy theatre on Wednesday.

“I never thought that my first internship in a Bollywood film would take me to Cannes. Working in the film brought me quite a few offers in the industry, though I could not take them up. I am lucky that I could be a part of it,” said Neeraj Kumar Pandey, a final-year student of Karim City College, who worked as an assistant production manager on the sets. The production crew mainly comprised Pandey’s fellow students from Karim City.

Udaan’s story revolves around the relationship between a Jamshedpur-based father and son. Teenager Rohan, after being abandoned for eight years in boarding school, returns home to find himself closeted with an authoritarian father and younger half-brother. Udaan is his journey as he struggles to pursue his dream of being a writer.

Motwane, who co-wrote Dev D with Anurag Kashyap, had a tough time finding a producer initially, as most felt the script was not commercial enough. Finally, Kashyap stepped in. UTV came in as co-producer a lot later.

The film stars Ronit Roy, Ram Kapoor, Rajat Barmecha and Ayan Boradia.

The film was shot for 39 days in the city out of a 42-day shooting schedule. Among the locations in Jamshedpur were Hudco dam, Kaiser bungalow and the Circuit House area. The crew shot in Shimla for three days as well.

“Hopefully screening the film at an international festival like Cannes would open up avenues for Jamshedpur as a film locale. The script was strong and the team worked hard to translate the storyline into celluloid. Those who worked on the production side did a good job and would definitely be recognised in future,” said Varun Khettry, one of the assistant directors of who is also based in Jamshedpur. Khettry is the son of city businessman Ashim Khettry, and has also worked in films like Rock On and Luck By Chance.

Among the production crew were 13 students from the Mass Communication-Video Production (MCVP) department of Karim City College as well as with 10 actors from the city. The auditions took place here.

“The students learnt a lot from the project. I can only thank Imtiaz Ali, who is a member of our department’s advisory council. It was he who proposed the idea of shooting the film in the city and taking students from the department,” said Neha Tiwari, professor-in-charge of MCVP, Karim City College.

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