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Actress, LGBTQI activist and former beauty queen Celina Jaitly is set to return to Bollywood after seven years with Ram Kamal Mukherjee's Hindi film "A Tribute to Rituparno Ghosh: Season's Greetings".
The film is based on a mother-daughter relationship, Celina will be playing the role of the daughter, opposite veteran actor Lillette Dubey who plays the role of her mother.
The film will also star debutant Azhar Khan as male protagonist.
"I am extremely happy to be a part of Ram Kamal's film 'Sea son's Greetings', because I have always considered him as a creative person and when he narrated me this story in Dubai, I had goosebumps.
"I knew that this film will be worth my time, as post marriage and motherhood I was looking for a subject that would excite me as a performer. Considering the fact that I have been associated with LGTBQIA movement since past 18 years, and Rituda (Rituparno Ghosh) being an inspiration for all of us, I feel that finally I will be acting in a film that deals with this issue," Celina said in a statement.
Paoli Dam was to play the daughter's role in the film initially, but she isn't being able to be a part of the project due to prior commitments.
"I am feeling really sad that I will not be a part of the film due to my prior commitment which is incidentally clashing with the shooting dates of this film," Paoli said in a statement.
Produced under the banner of Assorted Motion Pictures and SS1 Entertainment, the film will be shot in Kolkata.
The director said: "I know Celina as a friend and have interacted with her at various occasions. She is well read, and values human emotions. I was looking for someone who could relate to this script, and after the narration I could see a teary-eyed Celina, who immediately came on board."
Married to hotelier Peter Haag, Celina is a mother of three children Winston, Viraaj and Arthur, and keeps shuffling between Dubai and Mumbai for her work commitments.
"I will be shooting in Kolkata for the first time, and that is something which I am really looking forward to," she said.
The film has music by Shailendra Sayanti, while Kumar Sanu's son Ja an makes his Bollywood debut as a singer.