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Rajesh Khanna's final film to release on star's first death anniversary

The last ever film project of Bollywood legend Rajesh Khanna will release in July after the filmmakers finally found a distributor willing to take on the picture.

Khanna - Bollywood's first superstar - wrapped filming on 'Riyasat' just before his death from a liver infection in July 2012.

The films' director Ashok Tyagi bemoaned the "business concerns" of distributors who refused to take up the film in the wake of Khanna's death.

A much-hyped release to coincide with the star's 70th birth anniversary on 29 December was cancelled at the last minute after a distributor backed down.

"This is Kakaji's (Rajesh Khanna's) last film, but every distributor is looking at it as a business. He was a superstar and nobody is bothered about his last film," Tyagi told IANS at the time.

Things however, have taken a better turn after Tyagi announced 'Riyasat' will be released 18th July, the first anniversary of Khanna's death.

"We faced our own hardships and hiccups and we have overcome those.  July 18th is a Thursday, so we will have the premiere on that date,” Tyagi says.

“Now all off a sudden things have changed. I think, it is Kakaji up there who has done some miracle. Now there are people who are ready to put in crores for the film. Now the film will release under all circumstances,” added Tyagi.

Whilst details of the plot remain a tightly held secret, Khanna - a prolific producer, playback singer and star of such iconic films as 'Aradhana', 'Khamoshi', 'Dushman' and 'Daag' - is said to have closely studied Amitabh Bachchan's performance in the 2005 gangster saga 'Sarkar'.

Aside from Khanna, 'Riyasat' features an eclectic mix of acting talent, including Gauri Kulkarni, star of Shivajee Chandrabhushan's black and white, film festival favourite 'Frozen', model-turned actor Aryan Vaid as well as social activist and actor Aryeman Ramsay.

- Poonam Joshi/Agencies

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