The Sonam Kapoor-starrer Neerja turned five on Friday, and the film’s director Ram Madhvani says the much-applauded effort was possible only with the support they received from Neerja Bhanot’s family.
The film stars Sonam as late Ashok Chakra recipient air-hostess Neerja Bhanot, who died while protecting the lives of passengers on a Pan Am Flight that was hijacked by terrorists during a Karachi stopover on September 5 1986. Neerja was two days shy of her 23rd birthday.
“The most special part was when Neerja’s mother whom we affectionately called Dadi came for the shoot and blessed us by saying, ‘Jeetey raho khush raho’,” recalled Madhvani, while speaking to IANS.
“It is because of what Neerja did and her family’s support that this film is special in the hearts of all of us,” he added.
The film won the award for Best Feature Film in Hindi at the 62nd National Awards with a special mention for Sonam Kapoor.
Earlier in the day, Sonam posted a note on Instagram remembering the film and its subject. “Fear gave her courage,” she wrote.
The film features Shekhar Ravijiani, Shabana Azmi and Yogendra Tiku in pivotal roles.