10 yrs on in B-town, my new role as a producer is timely: Dia

The 29-year-old former beauty queen said that on completing a decade in the film industry, she wanted to do something that was a sea change from what she had done before.

"Turning producer is the right shift in the gear and a timely one. What bigger celebration could I have asked for than my production house 'Born Free' being set up with Zayed Khan?" Dia told PTI.

Her debut film as a producer in which she stars in the lead role with partner Zayed 'Love, Breakups, Zindagi' written and directed by Sahil Sangha goes on floors from tomorrow.

"When we heard Sahil's script, we were immediately connected to it. We did not want to let it go. The script happened and then the production house was born," Dia said.

According to the actress, this is a film from the heart.

"We wanted to make it with that kind of sincerity and earnest. It was the most natural decision to make the film. Born Free is not about one film, but making lot of movies we believe in, by giving opportunity to fresh faces," she said.

'Love, Breakups, Zindagi', a romantic comedy, will be a 46-day start-to-finish schedule and release in August later this year.

Dia said there was no room for nervousness since the whole team was prepared with clarity and conviction.

"Work on the script took two years and for the last seven months, we are working on the pre-production. Nervousness comes when you are uncertain or unclear," she said.

Dia said it was she who asked Sahil and Zayed to work on a romantic comedy.

"The boys were working on action comedy. I said we should go with love, because our company is from the heart... and a romantic comedy would be purely reflective of that.

"So at some level, it was a conscious decision. There are so many love stories which are reflective of socio economic groups, life styles. There is a problem that persists and I wanted to dwell on it and that is where the germ of the story came from," she said.

Sahil has very magically brought characters to life. "They are relatable and very real," she said.

The 'Rehna Hai Tere Dil Mein' star said she will not act in every film she produces.

"If I suit the character, and if the director wants me I will be part of my productions. Even though acting is my first and most beloved passion, I will not feature in every film. The same goes with Zayed. However, Zayed is likely to be part of the next venture which will be an action comedy. As far as I am concerned, I am not sure," she said.

Dia said she learnt a lot from Arshad Warsi who cast her in his home production 'Hum Tum Aur Ghost'.

"Whether the film did well or not is not my concern. I learnt a lot from him about handling various aspects of production and the problems that producers face. He has been my biggest inspiration. As a producer he taught me that actors need to be protected and at the same time technicians are also very important who should be treated with respect," she said.

The actress said she did not want to build expectations from her own home production.

"Our partner Sahil, who is also the writer-director exudes confidence and clarity. His work will speak for itself," she said.

Replying to a question whether she had Zayed had apprehensions of supporting the script of a newcomer like Sahil for their debut production, Dia said Sahil, who holds a marketing degree in Advertising from New York, exudes so much confidence and clarity it is difficult not to believe in him.

She said the title "Love, Breakups, Zindagi" was suggested by Zayed and Sahil. "The title directly convey what the film is about," she added.

Dia said apart from Arshad, Vinod Chopra productions with whom she has worked on Parineeta, motivated her to be part of cinema. "I learnt the nuances of detailing, story boarding, audio boarding workshops  production design."

The actress said she wanted to be a director long before she wanted to be a producer.

"So, some day when I have right script, I will direct it," she said.

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