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JP Dutta: ‘Never directed a film I haven’t written’

Updated on: 16 June,2024 07:17 AM IST  |  Mumbai
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Handing over Border 2 to the next generation, JP Dutta expresses confidence in daughter Nidhi Dutta’s writing and production

JP Dutta: ‘Never directed a film I haven’t written’

Suniel Shetty and Sunny Deol; (right) JP Dutta daughter Nidhi

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JP Dutta: ‘Never directed a film I haven’t written’

Sunny Deol and Suniel Shetty’s war cries ignited the fire of patriotism with Border (1997). Almost 27 years later, the soldiers are back on the battle field with a new war story titled Border 2. While filmmaker JP Dutta helmed the 1997 film, for the sequel, he has handed the baton over to daughter Nidhi Dutta, who has written and produced the film. “My daughter is my strength. I’m giving the responsibility of the franchise to the strongest part of me. She has written the film, so it’s her baby. I’ve never directed a film I haven’t written. My eyes welled up when she told me the story of Border 2,” says JP, adding that he will be involved in the creative process of the film because the armed forces have placed their trust in him to tell their stories. “I will make sure that the feeling of patriotism and the heroes it’s based on are given justice,” he added, assring that Nidhi is “conscious of her responsibility towards the armed forces. She has balanced the essence of India with all the valour of the troops.”

Directed by Anurag Singh, the film showcases a different chapter of the 1971 Indo-Pakistan war. “Border was based on the Battle of Longewala, but the 1971 war has many real-life stories of our soldiers in the armed forces that I have heard. We need to tell the stories of these brave hearts to the nation. I have met their families and loved ones, and felt their bravery and pain before I wrote the story,” says Nidhi. The film will roll out by the end of 2024 and will be shot at real-life locations across India.

Hoping to make her father proud by walking in his footsteps, Nidhi shares that Border is an emotion that she has carried with her since the age of seven. “It feels surreal to me that today I am producing Border 2 with my father. I am excited, nervous, and happy that I am part of it,” says Nidhi, who is co-producing the film with husband Binoy Gandhi, also starring Deol and Shetty. “Ours has always been a family-run business. Dadaji [OP Dutta] wrote the dialogues, Papa would direct, and Mom [Bindiya Goswami] would handle the production. In Border 2, it’s dad, Binoy, and me now.”  

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