Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Paa' merchandise to hit markets after release

'Paa' merchandise to hit markets after release 
By Subhash K. Jha

Mumbai, Nov 11 (IANS) A series of merchandise aimed at children is being planned after the release of "Paa" in which Amitabh Bachchan plays 13-year-old Auro suffering from the premature ageing disease progeria.

Also, on Children's Day this Saturday, Amitabh as Auro will appear on television with a very special message for children. The initiative has been taken by AB Corp Ltd, who is producing the film, to connect Amitabh's character with children across the world through an Auro blitzkrieg. The fans will have Big B merchandise including dolls to play with. 

"We're most definitely targeting 'Paa' at children and parents alike. Mr. Bachchan's Auro is a special child suffering from an extremely rare age-hastening disease. Auro could've easily become lonely, isolated or abandoned," director R. Balakrishnan told IANS. 

"'Paa' shows how special 'special kids' can be. It has a message on parenting rather than any disease. When your child is born with a special impairment you need to make him feel special, not unwanted or isolated," he added.

There are now plans to do special shows of "Paa" to collect funds for the Progeria Research Foundation.

"We really had no concrete plans to tie up with the Progeria foundation. Though our protagonist suffers from the disease the film is not about progeria. It's about how special children can fill your life with special brightness. 

"Not for a minute does my protagonist's special condition qualify his relationship with his parents. That's why we avoided pitching 'Paa' as a progeria project. However we'd be more than happy if our film proves helpful to children who suffer from this rarest-of-rare diseases," said Balakrishnan.

"We're still to work out details since we hadn't really planned any Progeria events. We're definitely holding a charity screening of 'Paa' of which the proceeds will be given to the Progeria foundation in the US," said the director.

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