After entertaining millions with blockbusters like Deewar, Silsila and now Veer-Zara, Bollywood maestro Yash Chopra is now toying with the idea to make English movies.
The filmmaker, who has spent more than three decades in the Hindi film industry, and whose film production company Yash Raj Films has produced memorable movies including Dilwale Dulaniya Le Jayenge and Mohabbatein, is interested in producing an English movie for international audiences.
Apart from Shekhar Kapoor, who has hit films such as Mr India to his credit, no other mainstream Hindi film director has made it big internationally. If all goes well, Chopra perhaps will be the second one to join this list.
While not much is known about the English language venture, Chopra, at the same time, is keen on producing small-budget, niche movies, which is the hallmark of rival production houses such as Ram Gopal Varma's The Factory.
Indeed, the trend over the last few years in Bollywood has been the production of niche movies with tight budgets, sparked off in no small measure by new-age directors such as Varma.
Yash Chopra, in an exclusive tÍte-ŗ-tÍte with agencyfaqs, describes this trend as "healthy" and attributed the growth of this phenomenon to the multiplex boom in the entertainment sector.
"We are on the road to establish Yash Raj Films as a new-age entertainment conglomerate. We have spent the better part of 2004 in executing this philosophy by strengthening our film distribution business, and by foraying into new areas such as music and home entertainment. And, by the way, we also expanded our film production operations with 2004 witnessing the release of three movies, Hum Tum, Dhoom and Veer-Zaara," Chopra says.
Chopra, who is the chairman of Yash Raj Films, says, the current year has been a turning point for the company, and plans are to consolidate its operations in the coming year. "That is our main priority," he says.
Apart from this, Chopra is also enthusiastic about a massive state-of-the-art film studio, commissioned by the company, which is coming up in the suburb of Andheri, Mumbai. The company has spent about Rs 75 crore on the project, which has three floors that will house facilities in production and post-production.
One part of the studio will function as the corporate office of Yash Raj Films, which is in expansion mode at this point. "We would like to centralize our operations," says Chopra. "That way you have everything under one roof."
The septuagenarian (Chopra is 72) is also not closed to the idea of opening his company for public investment, which he maintains is still some time away. "At this point, it is critical that we consolidate our operations. And, that is where my focus lies at the moment."
¬© 2004 agencyfaqs!