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Abhishek Chaubey: Wanted to bring drug abuse issue at centre stage

Director Abhishek Chaubey says he wanted to bring the issue of substance abuse at the national level with his film 'Udta Punjab'.

Abhishek Chaubey
Abhishek Chaubey

"This (substance abuse) is a serious issue. We knew that discussions are going on it. Punjab is an important state and there is drug abuse happening there but there was no discussion on the national level," Abhishek told reporters here at the trailer launch of "Udta Punjab".

"Through this film, our primary motive was to bring this issue on national level. I am glad Ekta Kapoor (producer) and Phantom (production house) came on board and helped in creating such a huge star cast," he said.

The crime drama throws light on the issue of drug and its menace which has affected Punjab and how it is trafficked and its nexus in the state.

According to Abhishek, 'Udta Punjab' is an apt title for the film. The 'Ishqiya' helmer clarifies that the film is not for children.

"This is not for kids. I don't think too much while writing I just write what is right for the situation. But at the time there is nervousness. That's (Censor board) a fight," Abhishek said when asked about Censor Board raising objections on the use of expletives in the film.

On the stellar cast of film which has Shahid Kapoor, Alia Bhatt, Kareena Kapoor Khan and Diljit Dosanjh, Abhishek said, "For the casting I am thankful to my producers. I am weak at casting. I never imagined that we will get such a good cast for my film."

Shahid will be seen as Tommy Singh, a drug addict rockstar, while Alia is playing a Bihari migrant. Kareena plays a doctor and Diljit plays a cop.

"We spend lot of time in Punjab and met lot of people. It is not just about abuse but about the story of those people who are close to them."

Apparently, assembly elections in Punjab which is scheduled early next year, Abhishek is not pondering how political parties would receive the trailer and the film.

"I have made the film I don't think about it much. We just want this issue should be addressed. I have nothing to do with Punjab elections," he added.

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