Raghib Hassan, Staff Reporter
As the UAE is slowly and gradually returning to normalcy, one of the most successful Bollywood producers, Gaurang Doshi, has announced the start of the shooting of two of his new web series in the UAE. He refuses to let the pandemic shatter his dream of entertaining people. He believes the show should go on and feels people should not be depressed at all. This is the right time we should go ahead. He also praised the UAE’s efforts in managing the pandemic. He says, “The UAE has been doing very well. I hope once the country opens up then it will be Covid-free. What else do we want?”
Known for giving mega-hits like “Deewaar” and “Aankhein,” Gaurang is well known for bringing an ensemble cast in his production and has entertained audiences with a larger-than-life kind of cinema. Calling himself an absolute entertainer, he remarks, “I am a mixture of Manmohan Desai and John Woo.”
His “7th Sense” will have R Madhavan, Ronit Roy, Chunky Pandey, Tanuj Virwani, Aashim Gulati, Sana Saeed, Ahsaas Channa, Dibyendu Bhattacharya, Sajjad Delafrooz and Manuj Sharma, while “Line of Fire” will feature Prakash Raj, Jimmy Shergill, Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub, Tanuj Virwani, Vijay Raaz, Tannishtha Chatterjee, Kabir Singh, Sana Saeed, Manu Rishi and Tanvi Azmi.
When asked why he chose the UAE to shoot his series, he says,” “Obviously everybody knows Abu Dhabi and Dubai are the two most beautiful places going by the way they have been structured, and we in Bollywood have always been a fan of the UAE. We enjoy the geographical proximity from Mumbai. On any given day we can take a flight and arrive in the UAE, even for a couple of days. It is only a matter of a few hours.
“And we are also receiving solid assistance from His Excellency Suhail Mohd. Al Zarooni, an Emirati businessman, Guinness Book World Record holder and Ambassador at Large, Dubai, UAE. We are getting lots of support from Abu Dhabi Government. And all this is possible and achievable only because of Al Zarooni’s help.
“It is an amazing feeling. Things have become very smooth for us. It is one of the most beautiful things that happened to me,” says the producer, whose palpable excitement can be felt from his voice.” Talking about his preparation for the shoot, he remarks, “We have sorted out almost everything. We are just waiting for Abu Dhabi to open up and once it opens we might start shooting within a week.”
Replying to a question on how he manages to handle such an ensemble cast in almost every project, he avers, “I know to ensemble such a huge cast is not easy, but if you look at my career, this has been my forte from day one. I only do big ensembles, whether it is movie or web series. So to get them on board, the first thing I look for is the script and it is always challenging to get something new on board. But the script is my hero.”
Gaurang has beautifully assembled talented actors from the industry. Talking about which he says, “We know each other well, I have been performing well in the Indian film industry and they know my work. They know the way it will be shot will have an impact.”
Expressing his disappointment over the quality of web series showing on OTT platforms, he said, “These days, the films shot on web series are not up to the mark. They need to change it to a great level.
“Actually, for example, the theatre has been shut, but the film industry won’t be closed for ever. But OTT platforms are doing well and they have been on top. Once everything settles down then even theatre will be back to its normal position. Theatre will never be closed and this too will run parallel. And OTT, of course, is the future and there is no doubt about it. “
Shayak Roy will be directing “Line of Fire,” while Karan Darra will be handling “7th Sense.” When asked why he picked both directors for such a huge project, he asserts, “Both are stars and they come from the ad world. They are also very well known with a young punch. They are very methodical in working. Technically, I am also involved everywhere. We gel well.” Madhu Bhandari, Amey D. Nargolkar and Munir Awan are the Associate Producers for both the web series while Parag Parekh and Ronak are the Financial Advisers. Both the web series will be completed by February 2021 and will be released on one of the popular OTT platforms; the name is yet to be revealed.