Filmmaker Gaurang Doshi clears the air on controversies surrounding his Dubai-based show '7th Sense'
The Bollywood producer talks to City Times about his show which is currently being filmed in the UAE.
Controversies have surrounded Mumbai-based Bollywood producer Gaurang Doshi, whose web shows 7th Sense and Line of Fire are being shot in Dubai. The shooting of 7th Sense had just begun a week back in Dubai when one of the main actors, Ameesha Patel, abruptly quit the show and flew back to Mumbai. Following that, a decree issued by the Bombay High Court against Doshi was published in a local daily last Friday brewing more trouble for the production. However, Doshi has now come forward to offer his side of the story and clear the air.
"Everything has been settled, sorted and resolved now. In a day or two, the same people who had put out a public notice (in the newspaper) will be publishing a note clearing me of the controversy. I want to clear the air so that the negativity (attached to the issue) goes away," Doshi told City Times over a Zoom call on Tuesday night.
When asked why Ameesha Patel walked out of the show. Doshi said that such things happen in the industry. "Her departure from 7th Sense was based on a mutual agreement. It wasn't due to any date problems or money issues. I would like to leave it at that and not comment further. Things happen in the film industry, sometimes people don't get along well. However, Ameesha has already been replaced and we have found another actor to play the part. When a script is good, it's easy to get an actor to play the role. My father (filmmaker Vinod Doshi) taught me that nothing is irreplaceable," he said.
Explaining why actors Chunky Pandey and Ronit Roy did not join the shoot even though their names were featured in the cast list, Doshi said: "Due to Covid-19, several movie shootings were rescheduled and pushed ahead. Both Chunky and Ronit already had prior commitments and did not have dates for our show due to the rescheduling. That is all there is to it, nothing else, there have been no disagreement or fights between us. We are still friends. I don't know why people are misreading the whole situation. Rohit Roy and Vijay Raaz have replaced Chunky and Ronit."
Doshi's production 7th Sense, featuring an ensemble of over 100 crew members, is one of the first Bollywood projects to be shot in the UAE since the pandemic started. The producer, however, admits he took a huge risk when he decided to shoot 7th Sense during this time.
"I have pumped so much money and taken such a massive risk to start filming the first Bollywood project in the UAE during Covid-19 times. It was a huge task for me to get so many actors and crew members together. It was scary, but we still went ahead with the project. I see this as a positive thing for everyone. It will send a message all around the world that it's time to come out and start working. This coronavirus is going to be with us and we have to learn how to live with it," he said.
According to Doshi, the UAE makes for a great location, one of the main reasons Doshi decided to shoot both his shows in Dubai.
"The UAE offers some fantastic facilities for filming. The authorities are very welcoming and they have supported us in every which way they can. Some of the equipment available here is unmatched and not even available in India. Everything is so well organised for the shooting process here. We have picked out 15 cast members from Dubai. There are some very talented actors over here, but you have to look around and find them."
7th Sense is a crime thriller directed by Karan Darra. The show stars R Madhavan, Rohit Roy, Tanuj Virwani, Aashim Gulati, Sana Saeed, Dibyendu Bhattacharya, Sajjad Dela Frooz and Manuj Sharma among other actors.
A week's shooting has already been completed for 7th Sense and the show will finish in about 60 days after which Doshi will prep for Line of Fire. "We'll start shooting Line of Fire by October 15 in Dubai. It will take about two months to complete the post-production work for both the shows and by December, the shows will be ready for screening on OTT platforms," Doshi said.