Filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt said he struggled hard to release his film 'Zakhm', which was based on communal tension between two communities, in 1998 when the BJP-led NDA was at the helm. The film depicted tension between two religions in contemporary society.
The movie is said to be closely based on Mahesh Bhatt's own life, and it explores the relationship between Bhatt and his mother. "When I made 'Zakhm' India had changed and (people) wanted non-gratifying films and wanted cinema that is of age. We had put in our own hard earned money for 'Zakhm'. I know people kept calling me names," Bhatt said at an event here for his upcoming film 'City Lights'. "The NDA was in power at that time. I was told that I must be mad to make that film," he said.
The makers unveiled a 26-minute footage of (City Lights) at the event. "I had the toughest time to release that film. It took a lot of me to get it out there. The film was made with passion and we are glad that Ajay Devgn got a National award for it," Bhatt said. Actors Ajay Devgn, Pooja Bhatt, Sonali Bendre, Kunal Khemu and Nagarjuna Akkineni starred in 'Zakhm'. 'City Lights' is directed by Hansal Mehta and produced by Bhatt who came on board after he saw Mehta's last directorial film 'Shahid'.
"We as a company wanted to break the mould and it was this feeling that was steering me. We delivered hit after hit. Vijay Singh (of Fox Star Studios) and I were returning from Dubai after 'Jannat' promotion when I told him that we need to reinvent ourselves as we had generated the cinema that would bring numbers. I am glad Vijay understood my thirst," Bhatt said