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Are you aware of the struggle faced by the makers of Nana Patekar’s Krantiveer?

Bollywood has given us stories that we have celebrated over the years – some that have entertained, some that have become part of our daily lives, and some that have gripped us with its story telling. We have laughed and cried with our favourite characters.

While the actors take the limelight and remain in our hearts forever, very little is known or spoken about the unsung makers of the film – people behind the camera who make the scene compelling, the mind which penned a beautiful story, or for that matter the director who set course for the story. The producers and directors of the film work through day and night to realize their vision.

Sony MAX2’s show “Lights Camera and Kissey” re-lives producer Mehul Kumar’s lesser known journey while making the revolutionary hit, Krantiveer.

The uncertainty of gambling isn’t limited to casinos alone, the courage to put everything at stake is driven by the passion to follow your heart. Producer & director Mehul Kumar’s life bears testimony to this. This is an incident from 1993, whilst he was producing Krantiveer.

After a successful stint in making blockbuster movies in the Gujarati film industry and in Bollywood alike, in 1993 he announced his ambitious project Krantiveer with none other than Nana Patekar. Earlier, he had worked with Nana in the film Tiranga, which was a massive success. At that point he could already envision Nana in the lead role of his next film. His distributors however, didn’t agree.

According to them, Nana couldn’t bear the responsibility of being a solo hero, even in Tirangaa – they felt that it was the then superstar Rajkumar who got the cash registers ringing. For them, this risk was not worthwhile. 

Back in the day, the distributors would dictate their terms to the producers. After all, their paid advance kept the film going.  Mehul tried putting forth his point but few distributors from Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh were unwilling to budge. Eventually, he was left with two choices - either to bend in front of his distributors and give in or follow his heart and risk it all.

He chose the latter and told them, “You all have given me one lakh rupees each by far, do not give any further. I will make this film. On the day of the trial, if you feel that the film will sell for you, then it’s yours or else I will return your money.” During a trial, usually people from the industry would watch the movie and then would decide, whether the film would make it or not. The distribution of the movie was dependent on this. Finally, the distributors agreed to Mehul’s proposal, the film was shot & the trial day was here.

Needless to say, this trial was no less than a life trial for Mehul. He was awaiting the verdict from the distributors. The film ended and each of the distributors and industry patrons came out and shook hands with Mehul. In the crowd, there were distributors from Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh. They smiled, went up to Mehul, hugged him instantly and said, “We loved the film! You have made a blockbuster. Every dialogue by Nana will leave the crowd cheering and whistling. You were right, nobody could have done justice to this role but for Nana. The film is ours and the money is yours.”

Krantiveer set forth a revolution at the box office, in award functions and in the hearts and minds of the audience. Nana Patekar won the National Award for the Best Actor and eventually Mehul Kumar's vision was proven true.

About Sony Pictures Networks India (SPN)  

Sony Pictures Networks India (SPN), is a subsidiary of Sony Corporation which owns and operates the Sony Entertainment network of television channels.  

SPN has several channels including Sony Entertainment Television (SET and SET HD), one of India's leading Hindi general entertainment television channels; MAX, India's premium Hindi movies and special events channel; MAX 2, another Hindi movie channel showcasing great India Cinema; MAX HD, a high definition Hindi movie channel airing premium quality films; WAH, the FTA channel for Hindi movies; SAB and SAB HD the family-oriented Hindi comedy entertainment channels; PAL, a genre leader in rural Hindi speaking markets (HSM) showcasing the best of Hindi general entertainment and Hindi movies from SPN’s content library; PIX and PIX HD, the English movie channels; AXN and AXN HD, the channels showcasing the best in Reality, Entertainment and Drama; Sony BBC Earth and Sony BBC Earth HD, the premium factual entertainment channels, Sony AATH, the Bangla entertainment channel; MIX a refreshing Hindi music channel; YAY!, the kids entertainment channel; sports entertainment channels – SONY SIX, SONY SIX HD, SONY ESPN, SONY ESPN HD, SONY TEN 1,  SONY TEN 1 HD, SONY TEN 2, SONY TEN 2 HD, SONY TEN 3, SONY TEN 3 HD; Sony मराठी, the Marathi general entertainment channel; SonyLIV - the digital entertainment VOD platform; SPN Productions, the networks’ film production arm and StudioNEXT the independent production venture for original content and IPs for TV and digital media. SPN reaches out to over 700 million viewers in India and is available in 167 countries. 

The network is recognized as an employer of choice within and outside the media industry. SPN is a recipient of several awards, including the ‘Aon Best Employers India’ Award in recognition of SPN’s unique workplace culture and exceptional people practices, consistently ranking amongst India’s Top 10 Companies with Best Health & Wellness Practices by SHRM & CGP Partners, listed by Working Mother & AVTAR as one of the 100 Best Companies for Women in India and adjudged one of India’s Great Workplaces by the Great Place To Work® Institute.

Sony Pictures Networks India Private Limited is in its 24th year of operations in India. It has a subsidiary, MSM-Worldwide Factual Media Private Limited and an affiliate, Bangla Entertainment Private Limited in India.

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