Netflix Tudum: Sanjay Leela Bhansali explores stories of courtesans and their hidden cultural realities in his web series Heeramandi

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Sanjay Leela Bhansali has given definitions to visual extravaganza and picturesque musicals with his extraordinary storytelling. Known to perfect every aspect of his filmmaking, the director has put global audiences in awe of his cinema. Be it his first film Khamoshi: The Musical to his last film Padmaavat, the director has given something new and spectacular with every story.

Marking 25 years in the Hindi Film Industry, the director has always been celebrated for his contribution to Indian Cinema. Recently in a candid conversation, Sanjay Leela Bhansali shared the story behind becoming a director. Going back all the way to his childhood memories about watching a shoot for the very first time, the director said, "I remember when I was a 4-year-old kid and my father had taken me to a shoot, to watch - he’d gone to meet his friends, and he said you sit here I’ll just meet my friends and come and I was sitting in the studio I and thought that this is the place that seems most comfortable to me, more than a school, more than a playground, or more than a cousin’s house, or anywhere in the world, I thought this was the most beautiful place in the whole world and I was watching a cabaret being shot and they kept doing it again and again and again. But what actually I remember most of that evening is when my father told me, sit here and don’t move, and don’t go anywhere. Today when I look back at it and when I realize that 25 years I have been there, for that matter, the whole life after that I have been dreaming to be here and I’m glad I’m stuck here and doing what I have to do."

Reminiscing his fond memories of being in the theatre which used to screen films through projectors, the director further shared, 'I still, as a child, remember going to a theater and watching those projectors used to have a beam of light that falls on the screen, across with my, my mind would never be there. My mind would be here and ghost particles float into it and say, okay, one day, my story will float.'

Elated to have fulfilled his childhood dream and making a global mark with his cinema, the director is looking forward to making more incredible stories for everyone, "All these things I have made. I think 9 films I have made & making the 10th one. It's been 25 years and 25 more to go," added the director. He has two much-anticipated releases which include the theatrical release of Gangubai Kathiawadi starring Alia Bhatt and the ambitious project on the courtesans pre-independence titled Heeramandi for Netflix.

Netflix has recently announced Heeramandi as their spotlight show from India in the global slate announcement. Talking about this grand project, Sanjay Leela Bhansali revealed, "Heeramandi was something that my friend Moin Baig got to me 14 years ago. And then finally, when we presented it to Netflix and they loved it. They thought it had a great potential to make a mega-series. It's very ambitious. It's very big. It's very vast. You have the story of the courtesans pre-independence. They kept music and poetry and dance and the art of living the politics within the kothas and how to emerge as the winner.". The series includes an eclectic star cast and talented teams to spearhead his exciting project. 

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