Ali Abbas Zafar: Excited to see people’s reaction to ‘Sultan’ in China
Director Ali Abbas Zafar is looking forward to the release of his Salman Khan-starrer sports drama film ‘Sultan’ in China on August 31 as it is a market that has embraced Indian cinema with open arms in recent times.
“Every time a film releases even if it has been released in the country but when a new audience sees it you get a new perspective all together… The exciting feeling is there. Also, China is a huge market for Indian films, so I am really excited to see how people will react to ‘Sultan’ in China,” Zafar said.
This will be Salman’s second film to release in China after ‘Bajrangi Bhaijaan’, which fetched a good response.
China has emerged as a profitable revenue generator for Indian films, especially following the success of Aamir Khan‘s ‘Dangal’, which released there in 2017 and became one of the highest earning Indian movies in the country by raking in over Rs 1,000 crore.
Asked if he hopes “Sultan” surpasses the box office record of ‘Dangal’ in China, Zafar said, “No, that’s not my goal. What is important right now is that it is Salman Khan‘s second film there. Aamir Khan is a very big and known star there. ‘Bajrangi Bhaijaan‘ did very well in China and we are hoping that even if we get close to what ‘Bajrangi Bhaijaan’ did, we will be more than happy.”
The director said the idea is to build an equity as a filmmaker and a technician in a newer territory.
“So, that is all very exciting now… Salman and Aamir are really big stars. When the film does well in newer countries, you understand how the stardom grows with them. Let’s see how China reacts to ‘Sultan’,” he said.
‘Sultan”‘ is about a middle-aged wrestler named Sultan Ali Khan, who gives up the sport after the death of his son. Years later, he sets out to revive his career as he needs the prize money and wants to regain his lost respect. It also stars Anushka Sharma,
In Zafar’s view, China is a fast-growing playground for Indian cinema.
“I just feel that all South Asian countries somewhere or the other are familiar with Indian culture… These films are really high on emotions. When an emotion works, it works universally,” added the director, who is once again directing Salman for ‘Bharat’.