Director Advait Chandan (left) alongside actress Zaira Wasim (center) and the theme song singer Meghna Mishra promote the upcoming film Secret Superstar in Beijing last week. (Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn)
"During the time, I was in charge of organizing his schedule, which is quite overwhelming. The toughest part of my job was to allocate his calendar each year. I have learned so much from working with him, as Khan is a very creative and dedicated person, who's very involved with all the projects he works on. Simply by watching how he works has inspired and taught me so much," recalls the director, who adds he was born in the year when Khan made his first movie.
Speaking about his inspiration for Secret Superstar, Chandan says he had always wished to produce a film for his mother, his own "secret superstar" to encourage him to pursue his cinematic dream. And he was also inspired by a mother's story from Khan's hit television show Satyamev Jayate.
"Also, the power of the internet has so much of influence on people in India. Therefore, I incorporated it in my film as well," Chandan says.
"I was trying to imply what is happening in India, where young girls have begun to fight for their dreams and rights. In the 1970s, there was this famous notion of the 'angry young man' in India. Now, I feel the real heroes are the "angry young girls" in India. They are fierce, ambitious, independent heroes who aren't scared to voice their opinion. So, I made the protagonist of my first film to be a 14-year-old girl who doesn't rest until she has achieved her goal," the director adds.
He also attributes the success to Wasim, who, in his point of view, has given a natural and seemingly effortless performance in the film.
Now, wishing to cooperate with Chinese filmmakers in the future, Chandan went to see two Chinese movies in recent days.
"I was very impressed by Youth (a new hit directed by Feng Xiaogang), whose production value is so incredible and beautiful," he says.
"The (filming) techniques might be different (in the two countries), but the emotions conveyed in the films are universal."