Maryland honors Bollywood director at Shortcut Romeo promo event

NEW YORK (TIP): State of Maryland has honored Bollywood film director Susi Ganeshan with a citation for his contribution to Indian cinema. Recalling his 15 years of service and hard work to promote Indian movies, especially Tamil and now Hindi, Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley said in his citation that the State of Maryland is proud to bestow the honor for his contribution to the entertainment industry.

Dr. Rajan Natarajan, Deputy Secretary of State of Maryland and one of the highranking Indian-American political appointees, presented the citation signed by Governor Martin O’Malley and the replica of great seal of the State of Maryland to Ganeshan at an event in New York attended also by Bollywood actress Puja Gupta, the heroine of his soon-to-be released movie Shortcut Romeo. Dr. Natarajan said Maryland is keen to support Bollywood and would provide all facilities to filmmakers keen to shoot movies in his picturesque state.

The Governor led a delegation to India recently and is keen on doing business with India. Recently, during his trip to Chennai Dr. Natarajan met with Superstar Rajnikanth and bestowed on him special honor by Maryland Governor. Ganeshan and his team were in New York to promote their latest Bollywood movie Shortcut Romeo after screening the movie and doing red carpet at Cannes Film Festival along with Ameesha Patel and Puja Gupta. Addressing a press conference in Tulsi restaurant last week organized by Varli Media, Molecule Communications and Pria Haider, actress Puja Gupta said as an actress she doesn’t have any limitations.

“I don’t have any limitations as an actor. As an actor you shouldn’t limit yourself. An actor should have the liberty to do whatever they want to and the director is the one who will decide.” The model-turned-actress has featured in two films F.A.L.T.U. and Go Goa Gone so far and said: “I love that I have become an actress. I never thought I will be an actress. I will try to do the best with the roles given to me…I will do bold roles if I am comfortable with it.

“The 24-year-old describes Ameesha Patel, with whom she will share the screen space in Shortcut Romeo, as a “wonderful costar”. “She is so gorgeous. She is senior to me and has spent a decade in the industry. There is lot to learn from her.” This is Susi Ganeshan’s first Hindi movie and the remake of Tamil Nadu Government award winning Tamil movie Thiruttu Payale.

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Ganeshan addressed several differences between the two versions, starting with, Why a remake in the first place? Noting a current trend for remakes in Indian cinema, Ganeshan pointed to the vast Bollywood marketplace-and audience for Bolly films–compared with that of Tamil language films. He then related the challenges faced by a director who decides to remake one of his own films.

To distinguish Shortcut Romeo from Thiruttu Payale, Ganeshan chose a different location, setting it in Kenya instead of India and Australia. He said Kenya provided a location unexposed to Indian film goers, who have now journeyed just about everywhere else in the world on screen. “I filmed in Melbourne for the previous film and don’t want to go to a place I previously used,” he explained.

“As a creator, I get bored if I copy my own stuff.” When shooting the Hindi version he faced a dilemma in differentiating the camera shots from the Tamil original. “There must be a small change at least,” he said. On an even more fundamental plane, he noted that it was “tough learning Hindi,” as his “mother tongue” is Tamil. Hence, it was also tough “finding an exact match” in Hindi for the original Tamil title, with Shortcut Romeo serving to evoke the search among the generation represented by the film’s characters for shortcuts to money, fame and success.

“The only barrier” he said, “is achieving the right performance, and feel. “Feel” was especially important when it came to the music for Shortcut Romeo, which was composed by hit Bollywood composer Himesh Reshammiya. “He’s a more popular music director than anyone in [Tamilspeaking] South India, and I needed the right music director for the different musical structure of Bollywood,” said Ganeshan. “I explained to him, ‘This is what I want,’ and he gave me a number of options to choose from.

We came up with the correct mix of melody songs-which I always loveand fast-paced, peppy dance numbers.” He singled out the soundtrack’s “Khali Salam Dua,” a melodic romantic ballad sung by Mohit Chauhan, as did Bollywood newcomer Pooja Gupta, the 2007 Miss India Universe, who has a key role in Shortcut Romeo. “It’s very meaningful music, subtle and mellow, with the beat of the soul,” said Gupta.

“It touches your heart.” Shortcut Romeo is an Indian romantic crime thriller film directed and produced by Susi Ganeshan under the banner of Susi Ganesh Productions. It is the Hindi remake of the director’s own Tamil film Thiuttu Payale (2006), starring Neil Nithin Mukesh in the title role with Puja Gupta as his love interest and Ameesha Patel in a negative character. The film was screened at Marche du Film at Cannes Film Festival.

It is releasing on June 21 all over the world. Himesh Reshmmiya has scored the music and N K Ekambaram is the Director of Photography. Dilip Deo and Hardik Singh Reen have taken care or editing. Susi Ganeshan has directed some award winning movies in Tamil such as Virumbukiren, Five Star, Thiruttu Payale and Kanthaswamy.

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