1. Aankhen was previously called All the Best, which is the name of the Gujarati theatrical play that the script by Aatish Kapadia is based on, directed by Vipul Amrutlal Shah.

The title was later changed to Aankhen because the the film's distributors felt that the English title wouldn't sit well with the rural audiences. Producer Gaurang Doshi, in an earlier interview states that he liked the name Aankhen even though the central characters were blind because 'Aankhen na hote huwe bhi, yeh film aankhon ka khel hain [Even though they don't have eyes, this is a tale of vision].'

Aankhen was also the name of a 1993 film produced Pahlaj Nihalani which starred Govinda, Chunky Pandey, Shilpa Shirodkar and Kadar Khan. Gaurang Doshi said that the film's Delhi-UP distributor, G D Mehta, who was a friend of Nihalani was instrumental in helping them obtain the rights to use the name for the film. Pahlaj Nihalani even gets special mention in the film's credits. There were two other Aankhen's prior to this, released in 1950 and 1968 respectively.

2. Gaurang Doshi met director Vipul Shah through the former's fitness trainer who was one of Shah's pals.

At the time Shah was a well-known theatre personality and successful serial-maker. Shah has to his credit the 800-odd episode old serial Ek Mahal Ho Sapnon Ka, which might soon turn out to be Indian satellite television's longest running soap.

Vipul Shah is married to actress Shefali Shetty who he fell in love with on the sets of a Gujarati film his film directorial debut Dariya Chhoru.

3. The story of Aankhen is adapted by writer Aatish Kapadia from his own Gujarati play, Andhla Pato (the Gujarati equivalent of Blindman's Bluff), first staged in 1992.

Aatish also worked as a writer for the soap Ek Mahal Ho Sapnon Ka, which Vipul Shah directed. He has written Indra Kumar's Mann.

4. Gaurang Doshi who produces the film is the son of noted producer Vinod Doshi, who has produced film such as Blackmail, Nastik and the Nandita Das starrer Bawandar.

Aankhen has been one of the few films that has been financed by the Industrial Development Bank of India (IDBI).

5. Aankhen was to originally feature Raveena Tandon in the female lead. But she was inexplicably dropped and replaced by Sushmita Sen. Sushmita, on her part, did a lot of home-work for her role as a teacher in a blind school. She visited handicapped schools and communicated with the visually impaired for a realistic feel to her role.

6. Aankhen boasts of four music directors for one song. A definite first for Hindi cinema.

A hue and cry was created about the film's credits which mention the name of Aadesh Shrivastava, who composes only three of the film's tunes but omits Jatin-Lalit, who have composed over five songs. Gaurang Doshi says the duo didn't have the time for my film, which is why he signed Aadesh. He says that they didn't have any new tunes to offer and said that they didn't respect their work as they were absent for a majority of the sittings.

7. Bipasha Basu makes her first special appearance in the film for a song number called Gustakhiyaan.

8. Apart from his good-cop-turned-evil-doer act in Aks, Amitabh Bachchan plays the villain after nearly 30 years. His previous outings as bad guy were in Parwana (1972) and Gehri Chaal (1973).

9. Director Vipul Shah and actor Arjun Rampal both turned fathers during the making of the film. Now we hear that the stork is due for a visit to the Kumar household too as Akshay's wife, actress Twinkle Khanna is pregnant.

10. The Indian International Film Association (IIFA) has selected Aankhen for the premiere at Genting Highlands, Malaysia.

Gaurang Doshi hopes that like Lagaan, which premiered at the IIFA event at Sun City in 2001, Aankhen will also merit international acclaim as a 'path-breaking' film.

Compiled by Vivek Fernandes

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