Aftab thrilled with adulation in Germany

Aug 1, 2006 Subhash K. Jha

Mumbai, Aug 1 (IANS) Vikram Bhatt's "Ankahee" may have left audiences cold at home, but it seems to have won itself a fan following in Germany at the just-concluded Stuttgart Film Festival.

The film's leading man Aftab Shivdasani attended the fest and is ecstatic: "The theme was Bollywood & Beyond. There were several other films from Bollywood including 'Rang De Basanti' and 'Krrish'. I was exposed to a film festival for the first time."

"Though the NRIs were relatively cold to it, I got such a fantastic response from the German audience. They found 'Ankahee' very different from our typical masala film," Aftab told IANS.

The award for the best Indian film was given to Rajat Kapoor's "Mixed Doubles".

"I just caught my own film but not others. I had already seen them. There was a Q&A session with German audiences. They thought 'Ankahee' was more like a European than an Indian film.

"Quite a departure from the Bollywood song-and-dance formula. So what didn't work for 'Ankahee' in India worked abroad! In fact, there is a suggestion that the film be released in non-NRI sectors of Europe."

Aftab enjoyed 48 hours of adulation.

"It was a short and sweet experience. Thought the festival was at Stuttgart and though it was a small festival, people had driven down from all over Germany.

"I also visited the amazing Mercedes Museum in Stuttgart. It is the most amazing place in the world. They have cars from 1884 to futuristic models. They also had a simulator which takes you through 120 years of the history of the automobile."

Now Aftab is back to Mumbai shooting for Vikram Bhatt's "Red" which involves lots of stunt sequences and the actor describes it as "the biggest stunt" of his life.

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