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Church ventures into the world of cinema and glamour



MAIDEN VENTURE: Fr. Dominic Emmanuel who did a role in the film.

Days after the Mumbai Catholic Church issued a "dress code" to churchgoers, its counterpart in the Capital has taken its first baby step into the world of glamour and make belief.

Opting for a touch of glamour and theatrics to the mundane Sunday sermons, the Church here has ventured into an arena that does not really agree with its catechism classes.

In its maiden venture, the Delhi church is all set to go public with its first full-length Bollywood style feature film titled "Aisa Kyun Hota Hain'' featuring Bollywood actress Rati Agnihotri, Johnny Lever, Avtar Gill and model-turned-actor Aryan Vaid, all of who worked at a discount price for the film. Why, even producer Fr. Dominic Emmanuel, from the Delhi church, did a role in the film to save some money!

Produced with valuable inputs from director-producer Mahesh Bhatt and monetary support from many including UNICEF, the film - made under the Social Service Wing of the Delhi Catholic Church - promises to be a typical Bollywood pot-boiler, but with a message. To be released later this year, it deals with changing relationships and HIV/AIDS.

"Made on a shoestring budget of Rs1.3crore, the film is possibly the first feature film produced by the Church worldwide. The film is being produced by Chetanalaya, the Social Service Wing of the Delhi Catholic Church, with support from Archbishop Vincent Concessao,'' explains Fr. Emmanuel.

"In the film Rati plays a single mother who brings up son Aryan single-handedly after her husband abandons her. It also explores Aryan's life in college and the relationships that he goes through. Comedy king Johnny Lever is doing a cameo as a Sikh basketball coach and while we did also try to also rope in superstar Shah Rukh Khan things did not work out and we had to proceed with those who had agreed to work with us,'' says Fr. Emmanuel.

Speaking about his expectation with the film, Fr. Emmanuel, adds: "Like all film-makers, I want the project to be a success but we have to be practical as this is not a through-and-through thriller or `masala' film. We have a good theme, our motives are not purely commercial, and above all we mean well. The film will be dubbed in Tamil and talks are also on to do the same in Telugu. With the changing times we too have to reach out to the people in the language they understand best and what better way than films which cuts across boundaries of languages and educational qualifications? And we thought the time was just right for a film now.'' -- Bindu Shajan Perappadan

-- Bindu Shajan Perappadan

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