Nawaz’s producer-wife Aaliya revives biopic on folk artiste Teejan Bai; intends to roll film by year-end
Nawazuddin Siddiqui with wife Aaliya
Of the many films that were affected by the pandemic was Aaliya Siddiqui’s next production, a biopic based on the life of Chhattisgarh’s legendary folk artiste, Teejan Bai. Now, the producer is ready to put the project — that was announced in 2019 and will see actor-husband Nawazuddin Siddiqui in a prominent role — back on track. It is heard that Aaliya has locked the final script of the yet-untitled drama, which will trace the journey of one of the greatest exponents of Pandvani, a traditional performing art form involving narration of tales from the Mahabharata with musical accompaniments.
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For Aaliya, being able to bring Padma Vibhushan Teejan Bai’s achievements on screen is a matter of immense pride. “I’ve always wanted to make a film on Amma. Even at this age, she performs on stage for hours and doesn’t forget a single word. It’s admirable how she fought the norms created by society, at a time when women barely had the right to speak up. It’s my honour to show her life story to the audiences. I had acquired the [necessary] rights before the pandemic, and I’m hoping to start the shoot by the year-end,” she says, adding that they are currently scouting for a director who can translate her vision on the screen. While Aaliya was originally keen to rope in Vidya Balan for the lead role, the reshuffling of dates after the pandemic may render that difficult. The producer will announce the final cast before taking the film on floors.
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