Filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali recalls the tough time during the making of Padmavaat as his film goes on to win three awards at the 66th National Film Awards. The director, who is also responsible for curating music for all his films, has won the award for the Best Music for the film. Arijit Singh has been honoured with the award for Best Singer for lending voice to song Binte Dil in the film and choreographers Kruti Mahesh Madya-Jyoti Tomar have received the Best Choreography Award for the song Ghoomar.

Now, in his latest interaction with a news daily, Bhansali emphasised on how the recognition by the government means that their craft is above all the hindrances they faced from the fringe groups while making Padmaavat. The director told Mumbai Mirror that it was the most difficult film of his career because of the entire external pressure he was dealing with during that time. However, now that the film has been widely appreciated by the respected jury of the awards, it feels like a ‘pat on the back.’

The director of films like Bajirao Mastani, Black, and Devdas among others, said, “I made Padmaavat through so much chaos and trouble.  It is the most difficult film that I have ever made. There has been physical assault, morcha, dharna, banning of the film and every possible thing that could have gone wrong. But every time I felt low, I created a song and it was a nice outlet for me. It was a positive way of looking at all the difficulties.”

He revealed that whenever there were protests outside, he quietly sat with his team inside and curated a song that gave him peace and diverted his attention. “In any creative field, an artiste goes through some difficulties here and there. In am case, it was more than necessary but you still look at it positively… We went to the recording studio and shut all the sound that was coming from the protests and concentrated on making music. It has come from the heart and it resonated with the people,” he explained.

Calling music ‘my life’, Bhansali went on to say that an award of this level only encourages one to work even harder. “Any recognition, and especially the one coming from the government, means a lot. It is chosen by the jury of very qualified and respected people. It encourages you to work harder. It is a pat on the back and an emotional moment,” he said.

Padmaavat, released in 2018, featured Deepika Padukone in the role of queen Padmavati, Shahid Kapoor as Maha Rawal Ratan Singh and Ranveer Singh in the role of Sultan Alauddin Khilji. Actors Aditi Rao Hydari and Jim Sarbh also played important roles in the film. Veteran actor Raza Murad made an extended cameo.