Raveena's 'Stumped' marks telefilm director's debut

MUMBAI: Gaurab Pandey, who has written and directed several telefilms for India's mass entertainment channels, is ready with Bollywood actress Raveena Tandon's feature film Stumped. The film, which Tandon emphasises is not about necessarily about cricket, is an attempt to bring out the hidden ironies between cricket and war. Tandon's ReelLife Entertainment, however, is releasing the movie in March 2003 to coincide with the cricket World Cup.

Pandey, who is making his debut with this movie, claims that the film is a real-life story on India's common man and woman. "It is your story and my story. Stumped is about why and how war is a reality to us only when someone close to us is involved in the battlefront. On the other hand, the average Indian does not know Sachin Tendulkar but has no problem hero-worshipping him," he adds.

Pandey started his film career at the age of 19 when he directed advertising films. He soon started making corporate films before foraying into telefilms for TV channels. He wrote and directed five telefilms including Chaudvin ka Chand, Mahashweta, Ek Boond Aasmaan for Star TV and Zee TV. He is urrently working with Vijay Tendulkar for his forthcoming feature film.

Pandey claims: "I don't differentiate between television and the big screen. Good cinema is a satisfying experience - irrespective of where it is shown.

Stumped is a medium budget Hindi movie in the same genre as Bend it like Beckham. The story is set in 1999 and is about a colony filled with cricket-crazy residents. Raveena plays the wife of an army officer (Aly Khan) who goes to fight the Kargil War. When her neighbours euphorically celebrate the Indian cricket team's win, the female protagonist receives the news that her husband is missing in action. Raveena Tandon, Virgin Music, MSN India and Charms companion presented a cheque of Rs 5 lakhs for the Army Wives Welfare Association on behalf of the Martyrs of the Kargil War Fund.

Tandon has roped in the greats of cricket including Kapil Dev, master blaster Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, the champion of champions Ravi Shastri, Zahir Khan and Yuvraj Singh.

Stumped will feature these cricketers for which they have even recorded some brief emoptional speeches on Indian soldiers. The monologues of these cricketers' will be used as promotional campaign to highlight the plight of army officers and get the maximum mileage during the forthcoming cricket World Cup.

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