Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Mukesh Chhabra
Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Mukesh Chhabra

Although Nawazuddin Siddiqui and casting director Mukesh Chhabra's friendship dates back 22 years, it was only recently that they decided to collaborate to launch a short film festival for aspiring filmmakers. A month after Siddiqui took to social media to announce Bolti Khidkiyaan, the actor will now also extend monetary support to the festival winner to facilitate the production of the film on a grand scale.

Siddiqui says, "The festival was Mukesh's brainchild and I thought it would be interesting to be part of it." Citing that as a debutant actor, he had a tough road to pave in Bollywood, Siddiqui hopes that his venture will provide a helping hand to those looking to make inroads into the industry. "People travel from every nook and corner of the country to find work in Mumbai. It's harsh to survive the pressures that this industry poses," he says, adding that while he is yet to read the innumerable scripts sent out to them, he will arrive at a winning name soon.

The actor dismisses the idea that producing a debutant's project might not be a fruitful investments with a pithy, "I'll spend as much money as required." The decision, he reasons, is driven by his desire to hone fresh talent. "If artistes take the time to hunt and hone fresh talent, it will improve the quality of content being produced in India.

This country is full of artistic people, and we restrict ourselves to a handful of stars in showbiz." That raw talent is untouched by the bias in any industry is reason for Siddiqui to believe that the debutant's work will be "out of the box". "Once people are established, they tend to follow a template that works at the box office. We want to promote young directors."

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