Ravi Bhagchandka: ‘Aamir can tell same story with a fresh takeaway’

29 May,2024 07:12 AM IST |  Mumbai  |  Mohar Basu

Recounting how he chanced upon Spanish original Campeones at Berlin film fest, Sitaare Zameen Par maker credits Khan for enriching remake with his insight

Aamir Khan

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There is something about documentaries, the raw truth in them that appeals to Ravi Bhagchandka, who had created Sachin: A Billion Dreams (2017). But at the moment, he is happy to have taken the route of fictional stories. He is co-producing Sitaare Zameen Par, an adaptation of Campeones (2018), with actor-producer Aamir Khan. Bhagchandka remembers how he chanced upon the Spanish original at the Berlin International Film Festival. "At the Berlin Film Festival 2018, I saw the film's trailer at the market. It was a sharp trailer. The next day, I went to the screening and liked the film," he recalls.

Ravi Bhagchandka

Campeones follows a temperamental basketball coach who forms a team comprising players with intellectual disability and takes them to the Special Olympics. Bhagchandka was not only moved by the story's beating heart, but also realised the sports comedy's potential to be adapted. "I have an attention problem. So, when I read the script in one go, I knew it was a crackling story. I bought the rights soon after. Eventually, Aamir sir saw it and loved it."

The Spanish film won three Goya Awards

Khan has stepped into the coach's role in director RS Prasanna's remake that also stars Genelia Deshmukh. Bhagchandka's first collaboration with the superstar has made him understand why he is known in the industry for his perfectionist streak. "When Aamir sir is exploring a subject, the experiences, insight and eye for detail he has is fantastic. It's not just about weaving in the nuances into a story, it's also about communicating it to the audience. He will make things stand out in the story, which didn't register with you when you read it before. He can tell the same story, but with a fresh takeaway." While Sitaare Zameen Par is rumoured to have a Christmas 2024 release, he says it's too early to take a call.

In the seven years since Sachin: A Billion Dreams hit the marquee, India hasn't seen another theatrical release for a documentary. Bhagchandka attributes it to the industry's resistance to the format. "The budgets allotted aren't enough to buy archival sports footage. Crime documentaries are relatively easier and cheaper to make. On its release, the docu did well. But our industry is more interested in fictionalising a sportsman's story than telling it the way it is."

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