Director Zoya Akhtar is taken aback by the buzz around her film ‘Gully Boy’, which had its world premiere at the Berlin International Film Festival.
The film starring Ranveer Singh and Alia Bhatt is about an up-and-coming rapper from a Mumbai slum.
“It was a crazy experience. It was an 1,800 seater and the screen must have been 70-80 feet. I have never seen my film projected on such a large screen. From the beginning, they were clapping at entries, whistling through songs, gasping at things that upset them and completely silent in the serious moments. It was a very emotional moment and complete joy,” Akhtar said.
Cameron Bailey, artistic director of the Toronto International Film Festival, also talked about the screening.
“Watched the GULLY BOY world premiere tonight in a packed house with @RanveerOfficial, @aliaa08 & @ZoyaAkhtarOff present. Biggest cheers I’ve heard in 20+ years at the Berlinale,” he wrote alongside a picture of Singh meeting the audience after the premiere.
Singh performed the track ‘Apna Time Aayega’ at the screening and had a “memorable” night.
I did not expect the buzz to be this much. We just hope we live up to it now
The film has become one of the most anticipated projects in 2019, something that Akhtar, known for films such as ‘Luck By Chance’, ‘Zindagi Milegi Na Dobara’ and ‘Dil Dhadkane Do’, did not predict.
“I knew that it will get certain attention because there is Ranveer and Alia in the film and my film is coming after three years. But I did not expect the buzz to be this much. We just hope we live up to it now,” she added.
‘Gully Boy’, produced by Ritesh Sidhwani and Farhan Akhtar, also stars Kalki Koechlin, Siddhant Chaturvedi and Vijay Raaz. It will release in the UAE on February 14.