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Imran Khan was last seen on the big screen opposite Kangana Ranaut in Katti Batti (2015). He has now changed his direction from acting and stepped into the directorial role. Katti Batti actor has written and helmed Mission Mars: Keep Walking Indi, which is launched by Johnie Walker and is produced by Dharma 2.0.

This short film will release on digital platforms on September 20. This film is about the Mars Orbiter Mission which was launched by The Indian Space Research Organisation.

Imran is very interested in all the space subjects and is a self-confessed space geek. He talks about his journey from actor to director and his future plans to a leading daily.
When he was asked what motivated him to make a film on such an unconventional subject, he said,
“I’ve always been fascinated by space exploration. Ever since I was a kid, it has fired my imagination. In 2013, I was following the Mangalyaan mission closely. Late last year, filmmaker Punit Malhotra asked me if I would be interested in making a short about it. I jumped at the idea. My friend Abhishek Saha and I co-wrote the screenplay over a span of four-and-a-half months. This was followed by two months of pre-production. It has been exciting because I’m telling the story of something that I find inspirational. This is a huge achievement by Indian scientists which needs to be celebrated.”

Talking about the challenges he faced during this short film, he said,
“That was the tricky aspect, which took us time to crack. Thankfully, there was a cinematic structure in the actual event. It took 300 days for the spacecraft to travel to Mars. In the mission’s final leg, it had to slow down and enter the orbit around the red planet. That manoeuver had to happen when the craft was behind Mars, so there was a 25-minute period where the scientists could neither see nor communicate with it. We’ve set the film in the control room during those 25 minutes when we can show viewers flashbacks.”

He also shared that he wants to direct more.
“I want to direct more but what will be the next thing is something that I don’t know myself. We get caught in this loop, I want to do it when things are ready. This is how we work in my family. My uncle, filmmaker Mansoor Khan, took four years to make each of his films. Today, filmmakers tend to chase a release date. They look at which hero’s movie opened big last week, cast him, zero in on a release date and figure out the script on the way. That’s not the way to work.”

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Author: Anjali Semwal
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