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Home > Entertainment News > Bollywood News > Article > Ananth Mahadevan The untold stories of war veterans didnt deserve to be forgotten

Ananth Mahadevan: The untold stories of war veterans didn’t deserve to be forgotten

Updated on: 17 January,2023 05:10 PM IST  |  mumbai
Natasha Coutinho D`souza | natasha.dsouza@mid-day.com

Ananth Mahadevan has announced his next venture ‘Veterans Of War - The India Story’

Ananth Mahadevan: The untold stories of war veterans didn’t deserve to be forgotten

Ananth Mahadevan

Writer-director Ananth Mahadevan has announced his next venture ‘Veterans Of War - The India Story’. Produced by Ashvin Gidwani of AGP World, the 75-minute documentary film that celebrates 75 years of Indian independence and will feature real life stories and interviews of 20 Indian armed forces Gallantry awardees. Mahadevan spoke to mid-day.com about this special project.


How did the idea of ‘Veterans Of War - The India Story’ come to you?


The documentary stemmed from an idea to do a film on the Indian Navy. Commander Vijay Vadhera was very forthcoming but the film, which was intentioned to be an authentic portrayal of the forces needed huge budgets and that would take time to work out. In the meantime Commander Vadhera and me thought of documenting the unsung veterans of the armed forces. He was resourceful in requesting about 30 veterans from all over india to go live on our cameras and narrate one of the most unforgettable moments or events in their lives. The stories that emerged were awe  inspiring and we could see a unprecedented docu in the making.


What are your fondest memories of interacting with the Armed forces for this documentary?

The untold stories of war veterans didn’t deserve to be forgotten or go unsung. Thanks to Cdr Vadhera i got access to veterans who wouldn’t have, under normal circumstances opened up. It was a hitherto unexplored cinematic territory and was befitting the occasion of the 75th year of India’s independence. And then a veteran’s son, Ashvin Gidwani, an accomplished theatre and media person jumps in to produce the film as a tribute. Both Federal Bank and Transworld too saw a noble opportunity in Veterans of War and happily associated themselves with the project.

The interactions with war veterans like Wing Commander Jaggi nath, now over 90 was a revelation. That only 4 candidates first applied for joining the Air force was news to me. Other stories like a letter of hate by a Pakistani girlfriend to her armed forces friend, life hanging on a thread in LTTE territory in Srilanka and the submarine guys scaling Mt Everest were all hitherto untold stories that evoked awe.

Also Read: Ananth N Mahadevan: Didn’t want to repeat angry Nana on screen

What were the challenges making it?

The challenge was to document in person the one big moment in each war veteran’s life and draw them out to divulging information that could qualify to be classified. The veterans showed me materials that could not make it to the film because of their nature but provided fodder for the pitching of their anecdotes in the right perspective.

The untold stories of war veterans didn’t deserve to be forgotten or go unsung. Thanks to Cdr Vadhera i got access to veterans who wouldn’t have, under normal circumstances opened up. It was a hitherto unexplored cinematic territory and was befitting the occasion of the 75th year of India’s independence. And then a veteran’s son, Ashvin Gidwani, an accomplished theatre and media person jumps in to produce the film as a tribute. Both Federal Bank and Transworld too saw a noble opportunity in Veterans of War and happily associated themselves with the project.

 

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