To realise his appearing dream, debutant Zaid Khan ran away from his house in 2016. Today, the teen is all set for the release of his first movie slated this yr. It took him over seven years to make it occur.

The movie has been shot extensively in Varanasi. “When the project was conceived, we were scheduled to shoot it back in my hometown Bangalore and a portion in the temple city. Once I came here for the recce everything got changed. The mystical city blew us away and the project was redesigned and eventually over 85% film has been shot here,” says Khan.

Going gaga over the places he says, “Every location with natural light and backdrop is like a painting. Pan a camera anywhere in the city and it comes out as a magical shot. We literally ended up shooting at all 108 ghats and have shot at locations never made known before. We started it as an untitled project and had several names as consideration but eventually we titled it as Banaras.”

Helmed by unique Bell Bottom director Jayatheertha the movie was shot earlier than pandemic. “We shot it in two schedules in December 2019 and after two months. But then pandemic stuck and everything was stalled. We had shot it in Kannada but seeing the final cut we all were of the view that it should be a pan-India release. Now it will release in five languages including Hindi. Also, as lines between regional and pan-India cinema are blurring so it’s more the reason,” he tells. Khan is so fascinated with the town that he once more visited it alongside together with his pals only a yr again.

Talking about his journey he says, “My father is a politician and we also have a travel company. Unse bahut maar bhi khai hai! He never supported my acting aspirations so I ran away. He then agreed hoping I won’t be able to cope with it as I had always lived a luxurious life. I came to Mumbai and joined Anupam (Kher) sir’s academy. I did other courses in Mumbai and in Kannada. I got many TV and other offers but I wanted to do a big project. My father’s friend Tilakraj (Ballal) uncle, who was aware of my love for acting and so he decided to produce the film for me.”

Khan feels regardless of having backing he had his share of wrestle too. “My parents still don’t support me and want me to take their legacy forward. I chose to struggle and carve my own way. Now, I hope to win their hearts along with that of the audience.”

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