Mumbai, June 18 (IANS) Duo Aejaz Gulab and Javed Sheikh have accomplished a rare feat - walking away with the best action director award for their very first film. And for this they give credit to filmmaker Apoorva Lakhia.
Also known as Javed-Aejaz, the duo was awarded at the International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) awards in Bangkok for the action packed thriller 'Shootout At Lokhandwala', directed by Lakhia.
'It is an achievement. I feel ultimately our hard work has paid off,' Aejaz told IANS.
Aejaz, who started his career in 1993 with well-known action director Abbas Ali Mogal, said: 'The whole credit goes to Lakhia as he had the faith to give us the responsibility of such a huge action-based film.
'In our first film, we got the chance to direct action heroes like Sanjay Dutt and Suniel Shetty. The film gave us sufficient chance to show our skills.'
Javed-Aejaz's relations with Lakhia go back to the 'Lagaan' days.
'All of us worked as assistants in our respective departments,' said Javed, the son of veteran action director Abdul Karim popularly known as Karim mamu in the industry.
'While Lakhia was the first assistant director in 'Lagaan', myself and Aejaz were assisting the action director. Later, we worked in Lakhia's directorial ventures 'Mumbai Se Aaya Mera Dost' and 'Ek Ajnabee',' said Aejaz, who is the son of action director Gulab Rao.
Before doing 'Shootout...', Javed-Aejaz had worked together as assistants to Abbas Ali Mogul in various films including 'Sarfarosh', 'Judwaa', 'Lagaan', 'Mangal Pandey - The Rising', 'Elaan' and many others.
'We jumped from the 11th floor together for David Dhawan's 'Chor Machaye Shor'. I was the duplicate for Bobby Deol and Javed was for Razaaq Khan,' said Aejaz recalling one of their memorable stunts they performed together.
After debuting as full fledged action directors with 'Shootout at Lokhondwala', the two have done a number of projects together, including 'Life in a... Metro', 'Superstar' and Aamir Khan's directorial debut 'Taare Zameen Par'.
Their next big project to hit the screen is 'Mission Istambul', 'Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Naa' and 'Summer 2007'.
They are also working for Bunty Walia's film on terrorism in Kashmir 'Lamha'. 'We are very excited about it,' said Javed.
Aejaz said: 'Besides 'Lamha', we will also be working for Lakhia's next project which will again be an action film.'