Continuing their streak of delivering path-breaking films that make a difference, following the stupendous success of The Tashkent Files and The Kashmir Files, filmmaker Vivek Ranjan Agnihotri and wife/producer/actor Pallavi Joshi were proud to present the nail-biting trailer of their upcoming film The Vaccine War, at a private event in Mumbai. The Free Press Journal was also present at the do.
Seen in attendance at the event, the team comprised of actors Nana Patekar, Nivedita Bhattacharya, Sapthami Gowda, Girija Oak Godbole and Mohan Kapur who joined Agnihotri and Joshi, on the stage. The film also stars Anupam Kher and Raima Sen in pivotal roles. What made the occasion more eventful was the gracious presence of Dr. Balram Bhargava, former director general of ICMR, who fronted the vaccine revolution in India during the pandemic. He was greeted with a rousing applause from the media.
Team The Vaccine War | Photos by Varinder Chawla
Vivek Agnihotri | Photos by Varinder Chawla
Based on true events, The Vaccine War chronicles India’s struggle and eventual success in becoming one of the first nations to produce and export its homegrown vaccines that helped in combating the spread of the Covid 19 virus.
When asked to comment over the need to share this story with the world, Agnihotri says, “We have very conveniently and quickly forgotten about what we went through as a nation, during the pandemic. Where the need of finding a solution to deal with a life-threatening virus was increasing every day, Dr. Bhargava and his team of scientists worked night and day to help a nation find its own vaccine. Therefore, it was necessary for us to tell this story. This is my version of a superhero film.”
Nana Patekar | Photos by Varinder Chawla
With Patekar playing the lead as Dr. Bhargava, how easy or difficult was it for the filmmaker to approach the actor. “I was told and cautioned by everyone that approach anybody by Nanaji. I was asked if I wanted to get beaten at this age. But, then Pallavi (Joshi) told me that Nana is very dedicated and particular about his work. When it comes to his work, there is no compromise and if a script seems promising, then he will be more than willing to not just come on-board, he will contribute to the making of the film with sincerity.”
Echoing Agnihotri’s sentiment, Nana, who returns to the silver screen, following a brief hiatus, shares how he went by his own vision to play the role inspired by Dr. Bhargava. “I surrendered myself to Vivek’s vision. It was a make-or-break opportunity for me. I told myself that whether I am good or bad in what I do, it’s my responsibility. But he really helped me give my best. I would say I will not work more than 8 hours, but he made me do shifts worth 10-12 hours.”
Pallavi Joshi | Photos by Varinder Chawla
Winner of the National Award as Best Supporting Actress for her role in The Kashmir Files recently, Pallavi spoke about what inspired her to star in the film. “I wanted to essay the essence of Indic feminism. Our films have portrayed the Western belief for a very long time. I wanted to be a part of a film where the strength of the common Indian woman is showcased in its entirety. And I believe The Vaccine War achieves that.
The Vaccine War releases in cinemas on September 28.