To cover this event, MissMalini received a call 4 days in advance. I had to provide a lot of personal information to the organisers, so they could submit it to the police department. The Prime Minister of New Zealand, Rt.Hon. John Key was visiting the set of upcoming film Players along with dignitaries and delegates. To ensure his security, authenticity of the media was mandatory. I was handed a media pass on arrival and was quite pleased with the arrangements.
It was Prime Minister Rt. Hon. John Key’s first visit to a live Bollywood set. A major portion of Players has actually been shot in New Zealand. However, Prime Minister Rt. Hon. John Key didn’t have the time when in New Zealand and on his trip to India, expressed the wish to visit the set. Directors Abbas-Mustan, Abhishek Bachchan and Bipasha Basu honoured his request and received him on the set. A scene from the movie was set and the Prime Minister was explained the procedure. He even did the honorary clap that set the scene in motion. Abhishek and Bipasha play-acted their parts while Abbas-Mustan directed them.
The Prime Minister was presented a Ganesha idol as a token of gratitude and he presented the director duo a beautifully framed print from the movie, King Kong signed by Richard Taylor (co-producer of Lord of the Rings). The Prime Minister even spoke of how New Zealand is a popular destination for Bollywood movies, what with 150 movies having been shot there already. He said, “Bollywood is a great way to showcase our country to Indian audiences, which is why it is hoped that the Film Co-Production Agreement signed between our countries will increase cooperation and encourage more Indian film makers to make movies down in New Zealand. Players is going to be a big hit and widely anticipated!”
The delegates were quite thrilled to interview Bipasha Basu and Abhishek Bachchan. A bunch of them even pointed their camera at the Indian media and commented, “To understand just how important this film is, take a look at the Indian media. At least hundred organizations are being represented.” Well, I say, they haven’t seen nothing yet. 🙂