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Wish I could tell Shahid Azmi how he changed my life: Hansal Mehta

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On the 11th death anniversary of advocate Shahid Azmi, filmmaker Hansal Mehta on Thursday recalled how making a film on the human rights activist changed his life.

Thirty-two year old Azmi, who was best known for defending cases of persons accused of terrorism, was assassinated on February 11, 2010 in Mumbai.

Shahid, the 2013 biographical drama based on the life and work of Azmi, proved to be a career turnaround for Mehta, who had previously made forgetful films like Dil Pe Mat Le Yaar !! and Dus Kahaniyaan.

The director took to Twitter to express his gratitude towards Azmi.

“Shahid Azmi.” Wish I could tell him how he changed my life. Wherever you are thank you Shahid, ”Mehta wrote.

The film earned two National Awards – best direction for Mehta and best male actor for Rajkummar Rao, who played the titular role.

Shahid also gave birth to one of the most successful collaborations in Hindi film industry with Mehta and Rao, who went on to work together on films like Citylights, Aligarh, Omerta and most recent, Chhalaang.

Shahid was written by Apurva Asrani, who later collaborated with Mehta on films like Aligarh, CityLights and Simran.

The critically-acclaimed film had its world premiere at Toronto International Film Festival 2012 and opened to favourable audience response.

It also featured Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub, Prabhleen Sandhu and Baljinder Kaur.

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