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"Heaven on Earth" by NRI Deepa Mehta


Preity Zinta play the battered NRI Punjabi wife in Deepa Mehra's “Heaven on Earth”


Los Angeles, Dec. 28, 2007
Gary Singh

Recently, Preity Zinta was in Punjab for the shooting for NRI Deepa Mehta's English film Heaven On Earth . The administration in the city provided the crew with firm security, because film shootings generally attract huge crowds in Punjab. Though the shooting had to last not more than a few days, Preity had her personal bodyguards for extra safety.

She had been shooting in Toronto for about a month. The shooting was completed before scheduled time, leaving Mehta with a few spare dates of Preity, which the director decided to utilize by shooting important portions of the film in Chandigarh.

The film will be based on the true story of a Toronto residing Punjabi woman, Amardeep, who is a victim of domestic violence. Deepa Mehta had filmed a documentary on Amardeep's life last year and now she is planning to make a feature film on the same. Preity Zinta, after shooting as the derelict NRI wife in "Heaven On Earth", she is off to Phuket, Thailand with her friends to bring in the New Year.

Preity Zinta said, "It's about all the people who leave India and hope to find paradise abroad, only to be stuck on wretched 16-hour jobs with no happiness or sunshine. I never knew how such marginalized women existed until I played one. I'm so glad I did this film. It has opened an entirely new door for me. I feel I'm born anew. Right now I'm hungering for a new kind of acting challenge. Doing Deepa's film is another step in the same direction. She's one director I've been longing to work with. When I read the script I said, this is it."

"Deepa Mehta and 'Heaven On Earth' have proved eye openers for me. But the film was tough on me emotionally. In the month that I was in Toronto, I went out just twice and that too to maintain my sanity.

Of late Preity Zinta has been gravitating towards neo-realistic cinema. After working with Rituparno Ghosh and Jahnu Barua in “The Last Lear” and “Har Pal”, Preity has teamed up with Deepa Mehta who has worked with method actresses like Shabana Azmi and Nandita Das.

Deepa said. “I first met Preity at IIFA earlier this year. I was stuck by her positivity and her hungering for opportunities to stretch herself as an actress. We talked about the real life character of a Punjabi housewife who goes through the nightmare of domestic violence.






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