Very rarely do you find directors starting a production house and not directing their first film themselves. But that's what Ahmed Khan has done. Having directed Lakeer and Fool & Final, besides being an accomplished choreographer and making the top most stars dance to his tunes, Ahmed decided to write his next film, produce it as well, but not direct it himself. This time, for Paathshaala, Ahmed decided to entrust the directorial reins to Milind Ukey, who had directed an award winning Marathi film earlier.
Knowing Ahmed, one would've expected the top notch choreographer to pen a musical, but not a film based on the educational system, revolving around kids. But there's a story behind it. Paathshaala was 'born' after Ahmed and his wife Shaira (the producer of this film), like every doting parent, decided to zero on the right school for their kids. They desired nothing but the best for their kids and their experiences slowly found their way into Ahmed's script. That's how Paathshaala took shape.
Casting the right names for the film is the next hurdle that every film-maker has to cross, after he finalises the script and when Shahid Kapoor and Nana Patekar, who are close to Ahmed and Shaira, heard about the project, they readily agreed to come on board. But without a price. Rumour has it that both Nana and Shahid have done the film for free, due to their personal equations with Ahmed and Shaira. In turn, Ahmed and Shaira reciprocated the generous gesture by offering gifts to the actors.
"Nana and Shahid have been most supportive and have gone out of their way for Paathshaala, but I wouldn't like to discuss if money changed hands. That's too personal," Shaira says. Agree, personal equations are truly priceless!