Zee5 Rangbaaz

Left to right: Director Bhav Dhulia along with actors Saqib Saleem, Tigmanshu Dhulia and Aahana Kumra at the ZEE5 “Rangbaaz” press launch. (photo provided)

MUMBAI—With a global premiere across over 190 countries Dec. 22, ZEE5 launched “Rangbaaz,” an action-packed show featuring Saqib Saleem, Aahana Kumra, Tigmanshu Dhulia, Ranvir Shorey and Ravi Kishan. Directed by Bhav Dhulia, written by Siddharth Mishra and produced by JAR Pictures, it is inspired by real-life events. The nine-episode web series shows the journey of one of the most feared gangsters from Uttar Pradesh in the 90s.

Set against the rustic background of India’s heartland, the U.P. of the 90s, it is the story of Shiv Prakash Shukla, played by Saqib Saleem. It shows the human side of one of the most feared gangsters. Tarun Katial, CEO, ZEE5 India, said, “After a phenomenal year, we are now closing on a high with this action-packed series. Our ongoing research has indicated huge interest among our audience for series inspired or based on true-life incidents.”

He added at the launch, “While this show is based on characters in North India, it is essentially a universal story and will resonate with our audiences across the country. ‘Rangbaaz’ has a mix of strong and relatable characters played by class actors, and we are confident that it will get us a phenomenal response from across the nation. And to support this initiative, we have launched a multi-media marketing campaign that is quite unlike anything that anybody has seen before from us.”

Said Saleem, “The character I play has a lot of layers. I instantly fell in love with my character because I was getting to play a gangster. I don’t know if people are aware, but I have always wanted to play a gangster. Not for any other reason but that I wanted to understand a guy’s psyche whose sense of right and wrong is very different from mine. As an actor, it has been a completely satisfying experience working on this creatively. To be able to do something like this at this point in my career, I am thankful to ZEE5 for making this for me. I hope when people watch this, they also enjoy it as much as we enjoyed making it.”

Kumra said, “Besides being the lead character's love interest, Babita also has a lot of layers. She is love-struck, yet fiercely loyal, brave, street-smart and knows to stand up for herself despite societal pressures. Saqib is a thorough professional, and it was great fun working with him and the entire team.”

Bhav Dhulia, director, said, “‘Rangbaaz’ has been interesting and challenging for me. It was a fantastic experience working with a power-packed and unique ensemble cast like Tigmanshu Dhulia, Ravi Kishan, Ranvir Shorey, Saqib and Aahana.”

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