From furious movie buffs shouting against the organisers to the audience walking out of the hall, the world premiere of actress Priyanka Chopra‘s debut Marathi production venture “Ventilator” here was a dramatic one.
The Jio MAMI 18th Mumbai Film Festival hosted the world premiere of “Ventilator”, helmed by “Ferrari Ki Sawaari” director Rajesh Mapuskar, on Monday.
The Marathi film, produced by Priyanka and her mother Madhu Chopra under their production banner Purple Pebble Pictures, has as many as 116 actors, including Ashutosh Gowariker, Sukanya Kulkarni, Jitendra Joshi, Sulabha Arya and Boman Irani.
Though not all of them attended its premiere, quite a few celebrities, including filmmaker Rajkumar Hirani and their guests turned up.
The fact that the seats for the celebrities’ guests were reserved, didn’t go down well with some of the viewers who were eagerly waiting to catch the film.
As the time for premiere approached, many people lined up outside the hall, which has 300 seats. Tired of waiting and watching the invited guests entering the hall, they asked the guards to let them in.
While someone shouted that this is a festival and not a private screening, some left after seeing the chances of catching the film bleak.
“It’s a world premiere. I can’t tell them to not invite their guests. But the audience doesn’t consist only of the invited guests. We have a mixed audience,” MAMI festival director, Anupama Chopra told IANS.
But the tension-filled environment was just temporary as the moment Mapuskar, Madhu and Ashutosh took charge of the mic, the fuming audience cooled down.
Priyanka, who is flying high in the West with the hit American TV series “Quantico”, couldn’t make it to the premiere, but her mother shared that the actress’ vision has always been to promote regional cinema and get them “access to the rest of the world”.
Filmmaker Ashutosh, who had earlier acted in “Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa”, said that the film’s team was looking forward to share the movie with her.
“It will happen soon, in New York itself,” he said.
He also revealed his unwillingness to return to acting. “I never wanted to come back to acting because direction is very difficult. I want to stay focused on direction. But Mapuskar kept on pursuing me for six months and made me say yes.”
“Ventilator” revolves around an ailing senior member of a family who is being put on ventilator just days before the popular Ganpati festival leading to speculation and panic among the family.
The team received a positive response from the viewers. On being asked about plans to promote it, Madhu told IANS: “We are going on city tours. I hope it has an all-India release on November 4. We are planning to release it worldwide also. We are also getting invitations from festivals.”
Talking about future projects, she said: “We are doing many regional films. We have finished a Bhojpuri film, we are finishing a Punjabi film and then we will start off with a Rajasthani film.”