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5 things you didn't know about Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Black 

Inspired by Helen Keller's life story, Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Black was one of his most painstaking, challenging films. On the 12th anniversary of the film, we take a look at 5 facts that make this wonderful National Award-winning film special. 

Shriram Iyengar

1. Bhansali came up with the idea when he was working on Khamoshi (1996)

The idea for Black predates that of Bhansali's first film Khamoshi: The Musical (1996). The director was reading up on Helen Keller's biography, while assisting Vidhu Vinod Chopra on 1942: A Love Story (1994). He would have made Black immediately after Khamoshi, but its commercial failure led to the postponing of the idea. It was only after the success of Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam (1999), and Devdas (2002) that the director gained courage to touch his pet project. 

2. Ranbir Kapoor made an appearance in Black (2005)

The lead pair of Saawariya (2007) were assistant directors on the sets of Black. It was with Bhansali that Ranbir Kapoor and Sonam Kapoor honed their understanding of cinema. While it was Sonam's job to keep the actors updated about their scene, it was Ranbir Kapoor's job to train the young Ayesha Kapoor. However, in a recent interview with Amitabh Bachchan, it was revealed that Ranbir Kapoor actually was present in the scene. Since Bachchan's dates were not available, it was Kapoor who stood in for the opening credits sequence of the film. 

3. Black is not a songless film. 

Though it was hailed for Bhansali's departure from his usual song and dance routine, Black was not a songless film. It has one song 'Haan Maine Chookar Dekha Hai' sung by Gayatri Iyer, later Ganjawala. Despite this, there is a strong perception among audiences that Black is a songless film. Perhaps it is the mesmerising acting that causes this confusion. 

4. Black won 11 Filmfare awards

Though it was a departure from Bhansali's usual template of large scale musicals, Black proved powerful enough to make an impact at the awards. The film took home the four major Filmfare trophies for Best Film, Best Actor, Best Actress, and Best Director.  In addition to these, the film also won Best Background Score, Best Actor (Critics' Choice), Best Actress (Critics' Choice), Best Editing, Best Cinematography, Critics' Award Best Movie as well. In all, the film set a record by winning 11 Filmfare Awards. 

5. Black has a Turkish remake 

While the Black magic worked here, it also spread overseas, right up to Turkey. A Turkish director remade the film under the title, Benim Dunyam, with the same results. Well, so much for Bhansali's original remaining an original.