It was a battle between three filmmakers trying to make a film on the life of Jaswant Singh Rawat - a rifleman from 4 Garhwal Rifles - who fought the Chinese during the Sino-Indian war. And, the relatively new Avinash Dhyani has pipped the others to the post.
Sanjay Khanduri, the maker of films like Ek Chalis Ki Last Local and KLPD was to direct his version of the war film and was in talks with producer Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra.
Then there was Gurjeet Badwal, the former CEO of Sunny Deol’s Vijayta Films, who was also trying to make a film on the same Sino-Indian war, focusing on a tribal girl who helped the Indian soldiers with food and water during the battle; the Sela Pass was named after this girl.
Then there was Dhyani, who made a film called 72 Hours that showed the three-day-long battle between Jaswant Singh Rawat, Trilok Negi and Gopal Gosain and the Chinese soldiers.
“Often a lot of filmmakers work on similar subjects around the same time. It is important to see who makes his film first and reaches the audience. Of course, films need to be made well too. The others then see the response to the film and plan their films accordingly,” says a trade source.
Cases like the clash of the Bhagat Singhs, the films on the Chittagong conspiracy, etc. have been seen in the past at the box office.