Tuesday, December 27, 2016

A perfect occasion to thank my stars...
-Mukesh Chhabra

Firstly, I would like to start with this year marking a success for the field of casting. The process is glorified by films like - Neerja, Pink and Udta Punjab. Personally, I think that the casting of these particular films were extremely effective. Kudos to my colleagues and fellow casting directors for putting together the cast of these films. I am glad that the casting department is identified in an important way. Many film school students joined our little MCCC family as interns to learn the process of casting and wanting to be casting directors in the future; making me understand that now this is a mainstream profession. This would not have been possible without the love and support of the lovely filmmakers, studios and producers

The directors trust us and put their faith in us with their films. For us every film is special. Would thank every director who has given us an opportunity to cast and bring some beautiful stories to life. The gratitude that I feel towards - Imtiaz Ali, Rajkumar Hirani, Vishal Bharadwaj, Vikas Bahl, Vikramaditya Motwane, Sujoy Ghosh, Rakesh Mehra, Abhishek Kapoor, Nitesh Tiwary, Nishikant Kamath, Nikhil Advani, Karan Johar, Dinesh Vijan, Soojit Sircar, Shakun Batra, Kabir Khan, Sriram Raghavan, Vinnil Mathew, Jackie Chan, and everyone who has given us a chance to cast. And special mention to Anurag Kashyap without whom I wouldn't have been who I am. Thank you.

Feels like life has come a full circle, from a rank outsider who got the opportunity to be an assistant casting director for Aamir Khan's 'Rang De Basanti,' to now being an integral part of this amazing film or as I like to call it; a movement called 'Dangal,' brought to life by director Nitesh Tiwary. I think this is a perfect occasion to thank my stars - not just the ones on celluloid, but also those celestial ones too, who have brought my journey to this new landmark. The moment I was on board the 'Dangal' team as a casting director, I knew this would be something really special, something I will cherish for a lifetime.

It has been a long journey, and I have had the privilege of working with one of the most celebrated, talented and creative artists in the Hindi film industry. With all the overwhelming appreciation and love coming my way for our work in 'Dangal,' I am feeling like a young guy off the block yet again - the same me, when I came to this city of dreams with stars in my eyes, and passion in my pocket to make my mark here. Along the way, I have been helped and encouraged by many kind souls in the film business, because of who I have reached this far. I would like to specially mention Mandar Gosavi who proved to be the backbone of the MCCC team working towards this film. Words will never be enough to convey the gratitude that I feel today towards the mentions in the reviews, the media, the makers and my team.

Also I want to thank my team. The films would never look the same without them. Again, I think it's my stars and theirs that brings us together to combine our energies and bring life to our characters. When I think about the process of putting together a cast, I wonder how would a Dangal look without Mandar, Chillar Party without Aakash, Hasee Toh Phasee without Vaibhav, Masaan without Shreedhar, Bajrangi Bhaijaan without Shoumie Mukherjee, Bhootnath without Dabas, Kahaani 2 without Indu, Gangs of Wasseypur without Pawan, PK without Rakesh, Highway without Balwinder, KaiPoChe without Aakash Bhojwani. And awaiting films like Rangoon which wouldn't have been possible without Anuja and Begum Jaan which wouldn't have been possible without Mahesh. They formed a foundation for MCCC.

I would also thank all the lovely actors for coming in and auditioning with us and never letting us down. Thank you for putting your trust in us and believing with us that no role is big or small and treating your characters with respect.

I will remember every little gesture, big and small, by everyone reading this - you all are my stars, and I just can't thank you all enough. Please keep the love and support coming, as it means the world to us. Thank you once again.

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