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In a first, Gujarati makes zero-budget B'wood movie
December, 17th 2011

At a time when Shahrukh and Salman are pumping in crores just to promote their films, a Gujarati has done exactly the opposite. Tejas Padia, who hails from Mahuva village of Bhavnagar, has made Bollywood's first 'zero budget' movie - literally.

Not a single penny was spent by Padia from his pocket to make the movie that is based on lives of five friends. Even actors like Satish Kaushik and Manoj Joshi acted in the comedy, 'Lo ! Ho Gai Party', for free. No wonder Padia has named God as producer in the credits.

"I wanted to prove that money is not a criterion for making movies,'' said Padia, an under-graduate. He hit upon the idea while hanging out with his friends in Mumbai two years ago.

Having spent over nine years in Bollywood, Padia had developed enough contacts. Kaushik, with whom he had worked as assistant director in 'Tere Sang', immediately agreed to act for free. "I didn't know Joshi so it took me some time to convince him. It was a completely different project in an era when nothing moves without money. But I was confident that people would buy the idea," said Padia who also made Bollywood's first film to be shot from a mobile phone camera, 'Ek Shukravar'.

Shot from PD-170 camera, his latest movie is about a night when five friends - three males and two females - gather at a house to celebrate the purchase of a second-hand car by one of them. The comedy of errors begins when one of the drunken friends rams it into the building secretary's car.

Right from the stationery shop from where he borrowed pen and papers to make-up artists and even the chaiwalah who supplied tea for free, Padia has given credit to everyone in the movie.

The movie was shot in 21 days spread over one-and-half-years years. As the actors and other production weren't charging anything, Padia had to adjust the dates according to their availability. "Sometimes, the shoot used to get cancelled at last minute. But, I knew that would happen," he said.

"When I heard of the idea I thought it was crazy. But, it was fun shooting for it and gradually we all took a liking for this movie. The best part was working in a film that was made cost nothing to the director," said TV actor Aniruddh Dave.

Currently, the movie is in the post-production stage and is being edited at a studio - again for free.

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