Wednesday, February 19, 2020

HOME MINSTER SEES ‘BOMBAY’ | 14 February, 2020

(From our issue dated 18th February, 1995)

Maharashtra home minister Ashok Chavan saw Mani Ratnam’s Bombay (Tamil) at a special screening at Eros, Bombay on 16th February.

PRODUCTION SECTOR HEADING FOR A SPLIT

FMC Expels Dhirubhai Shah

The production sector in Bombay is in the midst of a crisis. Producers are divided over major issues, prominent among them being the star-ceiling issue. Differences between two sections — one which is in favour of the ceiling and the other which advocates no restrictions on star assignments — had surfaced a while ago but they now threaten to create a divide in the community of producers. A total of 45 producers have resigned from the IMPPA. If grapevine is to be believed, some more resignations will follow in the days to come. Likewise, there is a move to get a number of producers to resign from the Film Producers’ Guild of India. So far, only Pahlaj Nihalani has resigned from the treasurership of the Guild as also from its executive committee.

Among those whose resignations have been received by the IMPPA are:

Ordinary members (total 32): Manish Arts, Amit Arts, Jayraj Productions, Prince & Prince Intl., United Seven, United Seven Intl., United Seven Creations, Sonu Films Intl., Nadiadwala Grandson, Nadiadwala Theatre Prods., Sneh Shakti Pictures (I), D.M.S. Films, Roopa Films, Meghdoot Films Intl., Seven Mountain Movies, Mateshwari Films, Dashaka Films, Vishal Enterprises, B.B. Films Combine, Time Magnetics (India) Ltd., Siddhi Vinayak Movies, Shivalaya Production, Sainath Films Intl., Film Folks Intl., Shree Durgalaxmi Ents., Right Image Intl., Shivam Chitrya (Bombay), Ketan Mehta Films Pvt. Ltd., Shree Durgalaxmi Prods., Vishesh Films, Anas Films, Maa Sherawali Prods.

Associate Class I members (total 6): United Seven Combines, Venus Records & Tapes, Yashish Enterprises, Milan Movies, Saamna Films, Leo Films Intl.

Associate members (total 7): Tips Cassettes & Records, Weston Components, Nadiadwalas, Nikita Films, Chitra Sansar, Baba Films, Siddhi Vinayak Creations.

The producers who have resigned or will resign from IMPPA/Guild will become members of the Association of Motion Pictures & TV Programme Producers. Ironically, this Association had been nicknamed in production circles as a toota-phoota Association as it did not have too many members. But with so many active producers joining it, it would no longer remain toota-phoota. Incidentally, at least one producer, Vimal Kumar, has decided to withdraw his resignation from IMPPA. “I was pressurised to resign and I shall take back my resignation,” he said.

Dhirubhai Shah, Pravin Shah, Pahlaj Nihalani, Shabnam Kapoor and Mukesh Duggal are reportedly garnering support of producers to resign from the IMPPA/Guild and to become members of the new Association.

“SORE POINTS”

The main bones of contention, according to the producers who have resigned, are:

(i) the star-ceiling scheme;

(ii) expulsion of Dhirubhai Shah from the FMC;

(iii) Pahlaj Nihalani’s “humiliation” at the hands of the FMC and the CCCA;

(iv) dictates by distributors’ associations like the FDC and the CCCA, in matters relating to production.

The star ceiling scheme was tightened a while ago by the FMC when it made it compulsory for producers to seek its (FMC’s) clearance for every new film started, irrespective of whether or not it starred actors/actresses having more than the specified number of films. While the FMC leaders feel, this was necessary to bring in a sense of discipline among producers and artistes, those not in favour of the star-ceiling opine that this is tantamount to harassment of producers. According to them, there is no sense in continuing the star-ceiling scheme as the FMC had not been able to monitor it properly.

DHIRUBHAI AGITATED

Dhirubhai Shah was expelled from the FMC at its meeting held on 14th February for not having sought FMC clearance for his Gambler and Krishna, starring Govinda and Sunil Shetty respectively. Both the artistes had more than the specified number of films (12) on the sets when the aforesaid two films started. The expulsion seems to have agitated the Time boss no end. Dhirubhai blamed the FMC for “not behaving as it should have”. He added, “The FMC has different rules for different producers. It takes them so many months to reply to a letter seeking clearance that a producer could just wait and wait. The FMC has done grave wrong by expelling me. I will move the court and the MRTP Commission for justice. They (FMC) have chosen to declare war. Now, see what we are capable of doing. All those who’ve resigned are active producers who have one or more films on the sets.”

PRODUCERS OR SLAVES?

What seems to have made Pahlaj unhappy is the fine of Rs. 1 lakh he had to pay to the CCCA before the release of his Mr. Azaad for having given his Aandhiyan for telecast before 5 years of its theatrical release. “Are we the slaves of CCCA president Santosh Singh Jain?,” he asked. “If there will be injustice, there is bound to be a revolution,” he explained. The FMC had, at its annual general meeting a few months ago, temporarily suspended the membership of the Association of Motion Pictures & TV Programme Producers of which Pahlaj is the president. This, it is learnt, was interpreted by Pahlaj as “humiliation”. “The FMC has not been able to protect the interests of the producers,” he sighed. “Are we the producers or the servants of artistes, workers and distributors?” Pahlaj also felt that those at the helm of affairs in the IMPPA/FMC were mostly producers who had not made films for several years. “How can they be expected to safeguard our interests?”, he asked.

J. Om Prakash, president of the Guild and FMC chairman, described the entire resignation movement as “unfortunate”. This would weaken the unity of the organisation, he lamented. He blamed it on some vested interests like Dhirubhai Shah and company.

FMC FOR GOOD OF PRODUCERS

IMPPA president Sultan Ahmed was more sarcastic in his views. “The same group of people who have now resigned from the IMPPA, including Shabnam Kapoor, Mukesh Duggal etc., were on the executive committee of IMPPA last year but they couldn’t do a thing for the production sector. They took up the case of producer Rahul Gupta (Kartavya) versus Dimple Kapadia but could do no justice to Gupta. Nor could they get Dhirubhai Shah’s ATN to pay anything to producers for showing their films and songs on the channels. And now they expect to help the producers. Or so they claim. I wish them good luck!” Sultan Ahmed reiterated that whatever was being done by the FMC was for the betterment of the production sector, and it was foolish to think otherwise.

SELFISH PEOPLE

CCCA president Santosh Singh Jain opined, “Those who’ve resigned don’t just want the star-ceiling to go, they also don’t want discipline. Most of the producers who’ve resigned have either started a film or want to start one with the ceiling-stars, Sunil Shetty or Akshay Kumar. Let them break away from their parent association. The FDC is there. How will they release their film without the distributors’ associations registering them? Those breaking away from the producers’ associations are selfish people who are only concerned about their personal gains, they don’t have the good of the production sector at heart. Like, for example, the Venus people who have started films without the FMC clearance.”

NOT ACCEPTED

While the IMPPA has so far received 45 resignations — 32 in Ordinary class, 7 in Associate class I and 6 in Associate class — it is yet to accept the resignations. That is to say, no resignation is yet accepted by the IMPPA.

PUBLIC ISSUE OF BMB IN APRIL

The public issue of producer-director K.C. Bokadia’s BMB Music And Magnetics Ltd. will open on April 13. A state-of-the-art plant for the manufacture of audio tapes and component discs has reportedly been installed in Jaipur, and production will commence on April 13. For this Rs. 17-crore project, Rs. 9 crore is to be raised from the public issue. The issue is priced at Rs. 35 per share which includes a premium of Rs. 25 per share.

YOU ASKED IT

Why is the issue of price rise by producers at the time of delivery taken so casually by distributors?

If a film is good, distributors don’t grudge increasing the price. If not, there are hassles, and not all distributors raise the price. Each case is an individual case and an association (of distributors) can’t do much about it.

In spite of so many flops, why is Mithun Chakraborty still a sought-after star?

Because he allots dates at a stretch and is very professional.

With so many English films being dubbed in Hindi, who are the most adversely affected?

Our writers, because they wouldn’t know where to pinch story ideas from, and our action directors for they won’t have secret films to pinch action scenes from!

JUHI MOVES COURT: HC NOTICE TO
DD, PRODUCER, LAB

On a petition filed by Juhi Chawla alleging fraud against her by producer Neeta Sharma (D.N. Productions), the Delhi high court has issued summons to D.N. Productions, Rauko Cine Laboratory and the director-general of Doordarshan.

Juhi alleged in the petition that D.N. Productions had fraudulently got a full-length feature film, Vada Hai Milan Ka, in which she was the heroine, to be telecast on Doordarshan as a teleserial titled Mahashakti. She has sought the court’s intervention to permanently restrain the telecast of the teleserial on DD under any name, which incorporates her work from the feature film. The serial is telecast every Friday, and four episodes have already been telecast.

Justice Devinder Gupta, before whom the matter came up on 16th February, issued summons to producer Neeta Sharma, Rauko Cine Lab and to the D-G of DD for 21st February. The court also ordered the defendants to furnish before the court all video cassettes of the serial.

According to Juhi, a sum of Rs. 75,000 was payable as her balance remuneration for her role in the film which was earlier titled Jannat. On 1st December, 1994, the producers approached Juhi with the balance payment and told her that they intended to again change the film’s title, this time to Mahashakti. They also asked her to sign a declaration that she had no objection to the release of the film in any form. Not sensing that the film would be released in a teleserial format, Juhi signed the papers.

BANDRA TALKIES DOWNS SHUTTERS

Bandra Talkies at Bandra, Bombay has closed down for good from 10th February. The property has been sold and the cinema will reportedly give way to a shopping complex.

A.R. RAHMAN TO WED

Music director A.R. Rahman got engaged to Saira Banu recently in Madras. Saira is the sister of Meherunissa, wife of actor Rehman.

TEJ NATH ZAR’S DAUGHTER WEDS

Anjana, daughter of producer-writer Tej Nath Zar, got married to Shankar on 15th February in Bombay at National College Hall.

RAMESH SIPPY BEREAVED

Gopal H. Sippy, father of Bombay distributor Ramesh Sippy (B.R.A.) and father-in-law of Jeetendra, expired on 15th February in Bombay. He was 79. Marka was held on 17th at Tulsi Niwas, Churchgate.

ARUN NIGAM DEAD

Cinematographer Arun Nigam expired on 12th February at Nanavati Hospital, Bombay due to a prolonged illness. He was 47 and is survived by his wife and three daughters.

3E
Education-Entertainment-Enlightenment

Corporate Structures

Corporatisation seems to be the order of the day in the film and TV industry. Amitabh Bachchan has already formed a company, Amitabh Bachchan Corporation Ltd. K.C. Bokadia will be coming up with a public issue of his audio company, BMB Music, in April ’95. Zafar Hai, who is into TV and video software production, has already gone public. And so has computer wizard Shyam Ramanna. Among other film people who are planning to raise money from the public are Mukul Anand, Nitin Manmohan, ace still photographer Shantanu Sheorey and the Tatas (Marg Publications). The Tatas will be entering the film industry in a big way shortly. Buena Vista will also open a public issue in the near future.

Price Hikes

A little bird tells us that the lady producer whose film is complete, has plans of increasing its price by 15 to 20 per major territory. The prices of two releases of March are also tipped to be in the revision stage.

Rumours “Baseless”: Subhash Ghai

Rumours are rife in Bombay as well as in Madras that Subhash Ghai and music director A.R. Rahman have parted ways and that Laxmikant-Pyarelal are now providing the music score of Shikhar. When contacted, Subhash Ghai dismissed the rumours as baseless. He laughed, “When I spoke to Rahman over the telephone recently, he told me of these rumours circulating in Madras. I told him, such rumours would be heard more often as I have a lot of ‘well- wishers’ in the industry. Jokes apart, there is no question of parting ways. I am very happy with Rahman.” Ghai plans to start the shooting of Shikhar by mid-April or May, after Trimurti is complete.

Tuesday, The 14th

Sultan Ahmed, who never makes more than one film at a time, launched a new film even before his Jai Vikraanta has been released. He recorded a song for the new film, as yet untitled, on 14th February. The decision to launch it on 14th was quite sudden. According to Sultan Ahmed, the combination of Tuesday and 5 is lucky for him and since 14th totals up to 5 numerologically and it was a Tuesday on 14th February, he thought of starting the film. Aadesh Srivastava recorded the song in Kumar Sanu’s voice. The cast and other crew of the film are yet to be decided.

Beyond Limit

Producer-director N. Chandra has a potential hit in his hands in the ‘Khatra khatra’ song of Beqabu. He seems to be lucky with songs which have numbers in their lyrics. His ‘Ek, do, teen, chaar’ song of Tezaab had become a sensation in its time. The ‘Khatra Khatra’ number also has numbers 1 to 16 in it. Its racy music (Anu Malik) is bound to make it a craze, especially among school and college students. And Chandra knows this too well. He is, therefore, sparing no efforts in its picturisation which is currently in progress on a palatial set at Filmistan Studios. After this song, only two-and-a-half more songs and very few scenes would remain to be shot to complete the film. Asked about the significance of the title Beqabu, Chandra replied, “Beqabu is a romantic film. In love, there is no limit to one’s passion. Love can make one do anything. This is what is sought to be conveyed by the title. There is also another angle to it. Sanjay Kapoor plays a street-boy in the film, having been deprived of his parents’ love and care since childhood. He, therefore, does not know what culture is. When parents teach their children culture, they tell them their limits beyond which they should not go. Beqabu also means going beyond limits in that sense.” Whatever the connotations of the word, Chandra and Tips (the film’s presenters) would only wish the film’s business crosses all upper limits when it is released.

Games Of Tension

Financier and Rajasthan distributor Naraindas Mukhija has turned producer and will be starting two films shortly. What prompted him to take the plunge in production? Says Mukhija, “I used to finance other producers and invite tension. So I thought, why shouldn’t I produce films myself? If I had to take tension, why not by making my own films? At least, that way, my money would be under my control.”

Busy Character Artistes

The boom in production of TV serials has made some film artistes, who don’t mind working for the small screen, busier than the proverbial bee. A big-screen character actress, known for her mother roles, is currently working in 21 films and is also committed to doing 28 TV serials, four or five of which are already on the air!

New Titles

Over to some new and interesting titles registered by the title registration committee in its meeting held on 6th February:

Hum Aapke Hain Ghulam, Main Hoon Tajmahal, Pavithra Tawaif, Mrityu Chumban, Do Kadke Chale Film Banane, Ladkee Achchi Hai, Kakaa, 210 Jama 420, Bandook Ki Nauk Pe, Main Deti Tumhe Pyar Ka Nimantran, Bombay Ka Don, Bombay Love.



‘RAJA’: MUSIC MAGIC | 7 February, 2020

(From our issue dated 11th February, 1995)

Nadeem Shravan are in top form in Indra Kumar, Ashok Thakeria and Vinod Doshi’s Raja. The film’s audio cassette, marketed by Tips, is a listener’s delight.

The first three songs on side ‘A’ – ‘Love you Raja’, ‘Kisi din banoongi main raja ki rani’ and ‘Ankhiyaan milaoon kabhi’ – are surefire hits. ‘Tum ne agar pyar se dekha’ is yet another good song.

‘Aankh teri chhalke to’ has immense lyrical appeal (Sameer) and establishes the bond of love between the two brothers in the film, Sanjay Kapoor and Paresh Rawal. ‘Phool mangoo na bahaar’ is quite nice. Two songs in the cassette — ‘Aankh milate darr lagta hai’ and ‘Ja sajana tujhko bhula diya’ — have been picturised but will not be included in the film.

All in all, the music of Raja should become a craze, a rage in the days to come. A chartbuster, it will prove to be a speedy money-spinner for Tips. Is that why the Tips boss, Ramesh Taurani, can these days be heard singing “Love you Raja………”?!?

SAJID NADIADWALA IN AJMER

The first copy of Nadiadwala Grandson’s Andolan was out on 9th February. Producer Sajid Nadiadwala left for Ajmer Sharif on 10th, with the print of the film. Andolan is due for ldd release (March 3).

DO YOU KNOW?

‘KARAN ARJUN’ SHINES IN 4TH WEEK

* Creates records in 4th week also at the following cinemas of Delhi: Odeon by collecting 2,92,143/-, Moti by collecting 1,97,830/-, Liberty by collecting 2,74,930/-, Natraj by collecting 2,49,831/-, Sonia by collecting 1,39,679/-, Savitri by collecting 1,98,079/-.

* Creates a record by collecting 84,000/- in 4th week at Choudhry, Ghaziabad.

* Creates a city record by collecting 5,51,000/- in 4 weeks at Saraswati, Varanasi.

* Creates a city record by yielding a distributor’s share of 2,34,145/- in 4 weeks from Vijay, Saharanpur.

* Creates a city record by yielding a distributor’s share of 1,90,245/- from Chandra, Muzaffarnagar.

* Creates history by collecting 77,425/- in 1st week at Prakash, Etawah (U.P.).

* Creates city records by collecting 68,245/- and 72,796/- in 1st week at Gopal, Budaun and Natraj, Mirzapur respectively.

* Creates a city record by yielding a distributor’s share of 1,25,000/- in 4th week from Kanpur. Also creates city records by yielding a share of 4.75 lakh in 4 weeks from Meerut and 5 lakh in 4 weeks from Lucknow.

* Creates history by yielding a share of 5.25 lakh in 4 weeks from Shree, Agra.

* Our Viramgam representative, Naresh Patwa, makes an interesting observation. According to him, if the name of the producer of a film as also its music director begin with ‘R’, chances are that the film will be a blockbuster. Examples: Raj Kapoor’s RAM TERI GANGA MAILI which had music by Ravindra Jain, Rajshri’s MAINE PYAR KIYA and HAHK..!, both of which had music scored by Raamlaxman, and Rakesh Roshan’s KARAN ARJUN, music of which is provided by Rajesh Roshan.

* Goldie Behl, son of late producer-director Ramesh Behl, who has started ANGAARAY, is only 20 years old!

* HAHK..! has created history by collecting 51,40,234/- in 25 weeks from Novelty, Lucknow. Entertainment tax collected in 25 weeks is a whopping 64,25,294/-!

3-E
Education-Entertainment-Enlightenment

For The Sake Of Publicity

The Bombay police sure have a way of troubling people. Why else would they disturb Bombay distributor Balkrishna Shroff the whole of one night earlier this week, asking him to immediately meet the calling police officer at Worli (Bombay) police station. Shroff’s ‘crime’, if one may say so, was that posters of Sauda, released by him, had been pasted all over Bombay. So what’s new? Well, the Maharashtra government has vide an ordinance (no. 1/95 dated 18th January, 1995), banned pasting of posters in public places etc., in the wake of the ensuing elections. The scope of the ordinance extends also to wall poster publicity in respect of films. Well, the police officer concerned almost made it appear as if Shroff had committed a murder. Shroff, accompanied by industry leaders U.A. Thadani and Indravadan Shah, went to meet the police officer concerned the following day and made him realise that what Shroff had done was not as serious as to warrant telephoning him all night, asking him to report immediately at the police station. The police officer probably saw reason in the film people’s argument and let Shroff go. And even while Shroff and the others were at the police station, they saw the Adhikari brothers — Gautam and Markand — cooling their heels there. Their ‘crime’: posters of their TV serial, Silsila, had been pasted on street walls!

Little wonder then that the IMPDA, after these incidents, quickly released a circular for its members, asking them to refrain from pasting posters on walls in public places till the duration of the ordinance.

Hit In Telugu, Flop In Hindi

Last year, when Indecent Proposal was released in India, several producers made up their minds to remake it in Hindi. In Bombay, Sudhakar Bokade made Sauda, and in Hyderabad, Krishna Reddy adapted the story in his own style and made it as Shubhlagnam in Telugu. While Sauda has not made any mark at the box-office, Shubhlagnam is a hit and has already completed 120 days of its run! But Krishna Reddy made a dramatic change in the story. While Indecent Proposal and Sauda for that matter — is the story of a girl and two boys, Shubhlagnam is the story of two girls and a boy. In it, one of the girls sells her husband for the sake of money. And the film itself is raking in money at the box-office.

Chhotu And The Big Crimes

Remember Chhotu Bihari who had made Professor Pyarelal? Chhotu is now absconding and it is feared, he may have run away to the USA. Although it has nothing to do with films, Chhotu’s story would interest film people — and, maybe, inspire some writer for a script! Chhotu (real name: Anoop Masand) promoted a company called All Seasons Foods Ltd. (ASFL) and used the company to do all the frauds under the sun. The company had Mahesh Jethmalani, the noted criminal lawyer, on its board. It had Sunil Gavaskar and Tarla Dalal plugging its products like a health drink and sauces. Chhotu had been arrested for a murder but Jethmalani helped him out of the mess. The finance ministry and the Controller of Capital Issues bent backwards for the company of Chhotu Bihari for whatever reasons. The company made false declarations, held fake annual general meetings, showed false accounts and indulged in a whole lot of criminal activities under the Companies Act. Resultantly, the company is now under liquidation, and Chhotu Bihari has fled!

First MKD Film At Filmalaya

Manmohan Desai had made a number of films under the MKD banner but, believe it or not, not a single film of his was ever shot at Filmalaya Studios. The studios once belonged to Man-ji’s father, Kikubhai Desai. Ketan Desai, who is now making Deewana Mastana under the MKD banner, will shoot the film at Filmalaya in March. Which will make Deewana Mastana the first MKD film to be shot at the studio!

Nana: Man With A Golden Heart

Nana Patekar who is very selective about the films he signs, has signed Rahul Rawail’s next. For a price of 45 lakh. While this may not be surprising, the form in which he has already taken his remuneration definitely is. Only 5 of the 45 lakh will go in Nana’s pocket. The balance 40 lakh have been accepted by him in the form of four cheques of Rs. 10 lakh each in favour of Mother Teresa, Baba Amte, Medha Patkar’s Narmada Bachao Andolan and Chief Minister’s Earthquake Relief Fund. A true krantiveer (revolutionary) indeed! In return, Nana has allotted Rahul Rawail dates for two months at a stretch.

For His Ears Only

Anupam Kher received a number of compliments for his ‘Changing Times’ mono act at the Screen Panasonic awards function. But the best compliment he got was from veteran actor K.N. Singh. The ageing actor telephoned Anupam and told him that although he could not see (he has lost his eyesight since two years), he enjoyed his item by only listening to it on Doordarshan. Anupam, needless to add, cherishes this as the best compliment.

True Lies!

There are rumours in the air. But these are no ordinary rumours. Know-alls say, they are as authentic as the fact that Hum Aapke Hain Koun..! is the biggest hit of Hindi cinema in 100 years.

* That the young son of a hero, who has signed a number of films as the lead man, is being replaced by a producer-director in his film starring several heroes.

* That Rishi Kapoor has opted out of a two-hero film. This news, informs an insider, is more sachcha than jhootha.

* That the action-dancing hero got engaged to the jinxed-turned-lucky heroine recently at a producer and close buddy’s (of the hero) residence.

* That a reunion between the estranged actor-producer-director and his actress-wife is on the cards. The good Samaritan is none other than the star-daughter of the star-parents.

C.V.K. SASTRY NO MORE

Producer C.V.K. Sastry passed away on 10th February around noon at his residence in Bombay. He had been unwell for the past one month. Besides being diabetic and having heart problem, his kidneys failed recently. He died of a cardiac arrest. He was 67 and is survived by his wife and three married daughters.

C.V.K. Sastry, besides being a producer in his own right, was a pillar of B.R. Films. Not only was he a close associate of B.R. Chopra, he was also the general manager of B.R. Films. His association with B.R. Films spanned 50 years. In fact, he used to look after its business aspects almost completely. Sastry also used to be a prominent exporter of Indian films till six to seven years ago.

He had undergone bypass surgery some years back.

C.V.K. Sastry had produced Joru Ka Ghulam, Naya Nasha, The Great Gambler and Tumhari Kasam under his banner of Associated Films & Finance Corporation. He made Nazrana under the Filmovision banner. He had also co-produced Baaton Baaton Mein and Pasand Apni Apni with Basu Chatterji, and Yeh Nazdeekiyan and Ek Naya Rishta with Vinod Pande.

He was a thorough gentleman and jolly by nature. He had a very good command over the English language. He also had a legal bent of mind and was legally very knowledgeable. Another noteworthy attribute of Sastry was his terrific memory. Little wonder then that people used to often say that his very short height belied the big brains he possessed.

His funeral on the evening of 10th was well attended by industry people.

Chautha will be held on Monday, February 13 between 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. at Arya Samaj, Linking Road, Santacruz.

SHARAD GALVANKAR NO MORE

Leading distributor of Marathi films, Sharad Lakshman Galvankar of Sri Datta Films, Bombay, passed away on 5th February in Bombay following high blood pressure. He was 61 and is survived by his wife and a son.

Sharad started his career with the Censor Board. He then took to film distribution and came in the limelight with such Marathi films as Sakhu Ali Pandharpura, Shirdiche Sai Baba and others. He was a devout follower of Sai Baba and often visited Shirdi.

PUNJABI FILM PIONEER K.D. MEHRA DEAD

Producer K.D. Mehra who made the first Punjabi film, Punjab Di Kudi, in the thirties, died in Bombay on 6th February. He was 88 and was called the father of Punjabi cinema.

K.D. Mehra also made the Punjabi films, Heer Syal and Mera Punjab, the latter in Lahore. He was a very close friend of B.R. Chopra and visited the latter’s office regularly till the end. He even took part in crucial decisions made at B.R.

He introduced Noor Jehan in Heer Syal. She later went on to become the singing legend. The film itself had a golden jubilee run. After Partition, when he came to Bombay, he made Posti and other films.

K.D. Mehra used to often visit Film Information’s office too and spend time with the Information family.

IFTEKHAR BEREAVED

Sayeeda Sheikh, daughter of actor Iftekhar, died on 7th February in Bombay due to cancer. She was 46 and is survived by her husband, a son and a daughter.

YOU ASKED IT

What are the chances of a heroine, who had been in the big league before fading out, making it to the top again?

The chances are dim. Heroines usually don’t get a second chance. Yes, if a heroine accepts character roles, the chances of a successful career again are not ruled out.

Are the releases of Govinda starrers going to be affected due to his interrogation under TADA?

Not at all. Govinda was interrogated for only a day and allowed to go thereafter.

How did the Tamil and Telugu versions of Aladdin fare?

While the Telugu version did not do well at the box-office, the Tamil  one was successful. The English version has also done quite well. But the Hindi version bombed.

COURT ATTACHES PROPERTIES OF RAJEEV KUMAR

The Bombay high court on 6th February attached properties of producer-director Rajeev Kumar. The court proceeded against Rajeev Kumar on the basis of consent terms decree passed by it and on a suit filed by Mansingh Deep.

Kranti Kshetra was started in partnership between Rajeev Kumar and Mansingh Deep, but due to disputes, the two separated and Rajeev Kumar undertook to pay up the entire investment of Mansingh Deep before the release of the film. A sworn declaration to this effect in terms of consent terms was lodged before the court. In this connection, the court passed a decree on the said consent terms. Not having received the money, Mansingh Deep moved the court and obtained an injunction against the release of Kranti Kshetra unless Rajeev Kumar discharged his financial liability to pay the agreed sum pursuant to the consent terms. But Rajeev Kumar released the film without making the agreed payment. Aggrieved, Mansingh Deep again moved the court against Rajeev Kumar for flouting the consent terms decree passed by the court. The court issued an attachment warrant on Rajeev Kumar’s property on 6th February.

ROOPESH KUMAR BIDS ADIEU | 30 January, 2020

(From our issue dated 4th February, 1995)

Actor-producer-director Roopesh Kumar died of a heart attack on 29th January in Bombay. He suffered a stroke at the Screen-Panasonic awards function at the Film City helipad around 7 p.m. and was rushed to Bombay Hospital in an ambulance, but died on the way. Accompanying him in the ambulance were Sunil Dutt and Rajendra Kumar.

His body was taken to Pune where his family lives. The funeral, held the following day, was attended by a number of government dignitaries.

Among his notable films were Sapnon Ka Saudagar, Do Raha, Seeta Aur Geeta and others. He had acted in about 125 films in character roles. He had produced and directed Hai Meri Jaan and Meri Aan.

A prayer meeting will be held on 5th February at 5 p.m. in Pune at Irani Imam Bara, near Geeta Society.

RAKESH ROSHAN, TIME STRIKE A DEAL
Video Cassettes Of ‘Karan Arjun’
Not To Be Released

Looking to the tremendous collections of Karan Arjun at the box-office, Rakesh Roshan and Time (who holds its home-viewing video rights) have mutually decided not to release its video cassettes now. The video cassettes had earlier been planned to be released after four weeks of the film’s theatrical release.

When the collections in the first two weeks were rock-steady and remained so even at the start of the third week, Rakesh Roshan approached Dhirubhai and Pravin Shah of Time to withhold the cassettes for some more weeks. It took a lot of pleading to get the Shah brothers to agree to Rakesh Roshan’s suggestion. According to Pravin, they had already booked the advertisements for inclusion in Karan Arjun cassettes, and not releasing them now would have an adverse effect on their advertisements in cassettes of other forthcoming films as bookings of advertisements were done for several films together. Fearing huge losses on this count as also because of the advertising loss in Karan Arjun cassettes, the Shah brothers were initially reluctant to further postpone the release of the film’s cassettes.

Rakesh Roshan will pay Time a handsome sum of money to compensate for the losses on the above counts. In return, Time will not release the cassettes for as long as Rakesh Roshan desires. This may be six months or more or less. Whenever the video cassettes will be released, they will be released through Time and that will be in Rakesh Roshan’s account.

This will be the second film in recent years, the video cassettes of which will not be released. The first, of course, is Hum Aapke Hain Koun..!.

SNAPSHOTS

GOVIDA SUMMONED

Govinda was reportedly interrogated earlier this week under TADA. Reliable sources reveal that the star was summoned by the authorities at 6 o’clock in the morning. He was accompanied by his mother and another family member. The actor was allowed to go after several hours of interrogation.

*      *      *

KINGLY RECEPTION

The music cassettes of Raja have been released in the market. And the response from all corners of the country is the same — terrific.

*      *      *

ALL-TIME HIGH

Another album that’s selling like hotcakes is Mani Ratnam’s Bombay (Hindi). A.R. Rahman’s music has clicked in a big way. Little wonder then, Amitabh Bachchan, Jhamu Sugandh and Kirit Trivedi are quoting a ratio of 70 for the Hindi dubbed version of the film. What’s more, there are offers at this price from distributors of several circuits.

*      *      *

PRETTY HOT

After the stupendous success of Karan Arjun, Gujarat and Saurashtra sub-circuits have become oven-hot again. Angrakshak is luring sub-distributors from the two sub-circuits. Fancy prices are being offered, but distributor Harsh Manchanda and his son, Niraj, prefer to hold on. They’re confident, they’ll get even more fancy prices!

*      *      *

PRICE HIKE

A price increase in the case of Vicky Kumar’s Angrakshakis on the cards. The guy has gone over-budget.

*      *      *

OVERSEAS RIGHTS

Bharatbhai Shah seems to be having a fancy for Raja. Not satisfied being a partner in its Bombay distribution, he plans to acquire its Overseas rights, too.

3-E
Education-Entertainment-Enlightenment

Success Makes The Difference

What is the difference between Rakesh Roshan of pre-Karan Arjun release and the Rakesh Roshan of today? Ask producer Gava for whom Rakesh Roshan is directing Karobaar. “Earlier, I used to have to plan about how I should suggest something to Rakesh so that he would be receptive to the idea. This is because he used to invariably be on the defensive. Maybe, the failures of his King Uncle and Khel had taken their toll on him. But after Karan Arjun, Rakesh is game for anything. He doesn’t have to be cajoled. You can say just about anything and he is willing to try. Its success has given him tremendous confidence. I’m happy, my Karobaar has really taken off only now. I have shooting schedules every month now, and Karan Arjun is the best thing to have happened for all of us.”

Calamity Averted

A major calamity was averted by Providence on Sunday last after the Screen-Panasonic awards function got over at the Film City helipad. The driver of one of the many buses arranged to bring the people down to Film City from the helipad, lost control of his bus while it was coming downhill. For a good 15 to 20 seconds, the occupants of the bus thought that it would fall down the valley on the side and that would be their end. There was chaos and panic in the bus as the driver helplessly tried to regain control. Four or five cars were smashed in the process (one of the smashed cars belonged to actress Madhoo). Luckily, when the bus banged against the last of the row of cars, it automatically changed its direction and could be brought to a halt. Much to the relief of the passengers inside who included Rakesh Roshan and wife, Rajesh Roshan and wife, Dinesh Gandhi and wife, Bunty Soorma and wife.

The Dubbed Lot

Of the 754 Indian feature films certified in 1994, a total of 124 were dubbed versions of Indian films. Of these 124 dubbed films, 72 were in Telugu, 37 in Tamil, 10 in Hindi, 3 in Malayalam and one each in Gujarati and Nepali. Regionwise, 85 dubbed films were certified in Madras, 23 in Hyderabad, 9 in Trivandrum, 5 in Bombay and 2 in Bangalore. Besides the 124 Indian dubbed films, there were another 11 films which were dubbed from foreign films like Jurassic Park, Aladdin etc. Which means, there were a total of 135 dubbed films which were certified in 1994.

Addition Of Deletions

If all the cuts ordered and effected by the CBFC in 1994 in all films were to be totalled, they would add up to 24,384.55 metres. This is about 10,000 metres more than in 1993. The total cuts of 1994 could compare with the length of about 6 feature films!

YOU ASKED IT

What is the delay in the release of Venus’ Miss 420?

– Some portion of shooting still remains to be done to complete the film. The Venus people have done a lot of reshooting because they were not satisfied with the film and did not deem it fit to release it till they had made it to their liking.

Has Bombay been sold for all-India? What is its ratio?  

– Although the producer has offers for many circuits, deals have not yet been concluded for most of them. The producers expect to sell it at 65 to 70 per major circuit.

When business of new hits has increased so phenomenally, does it mean that old hits will also do well in repeat-runs now?

– Business of new hits has shot up due to unprecedented high admission rates. Repeat-run films cannot bear the burden of high admission rates. New films do better business if their video cassettes are not released simultaneously with their theatrical release. On the other hand, old films are easily available on video cassettes.

PHOOLAN SEES ‘BANDIT QUEEN’

Phoolan Devi finally saw Shekhar Kapur’s The Bandit Queen, based on her life, on 1st February at the I & B ministry auditorium in New Delhi pursuant to a directive of the Delhi high court. The screening was arranged by the film’s producer, Bobby Bedi, after he had moved an application before the court, expressing his wish to show the film to Phoolan.

Phoolan did not answer any questions from media persons after the show. She was accompanied to the show by her husband, Umaid Singh, Arundhati Roy who is assisting her in this case, and her two lawyers, Indira Jaising and Praveen Anand. Bobby Bedi was accompanied by his wife, Varsha, and his two lawyers, D.N. Sawhney and Ashok Gurnani.

Mix Masala

PANASONIC THIEF

For producer-director Deepak Balraaj Vij, the Screen-Panasonic awards function on 29th January was a highly frustrating experience. No, it is not as if he expected an award and didn’t get it. Rather, a Panasonic cassette player, fitted in his car, got stolen from it while he was busy watching the show. Besides the Panasonic, the car lights, horn and other fittings too got flicked!

B. NAGI REDDI’S GRANDSON TO WED

Wedding of Rajesh, son of B. Venkatrama Reddy and grandson of B. Nagi Reddi, with Preeti will be solemnised on 10th February in Secunderabad at Imperial Gardens, Sikh Village. A reception to celebrate the marriage will be held in Madras on 17th.

‘JAWAB’ DELIVERIES | 24 January, 2020

(From our issue dated 28th January, 1995)

Mental Torture For Distributors
Release Upset

There was expected to be tension at the time of delivery of Anuj Sharma’s Jawab. But not to the extent there actually was!

Financiers, it seemed, sprung up from nowhere, with letters of lien and court orders, restraining deliveries before their dues were settled. Anuj Sharma adopted the trick of keeping his distributors in the dark till the last moment.

Ramnord Lab, where the prints were to be delivered, was a picture of total chaos on 25th January. Distributors of all-India were tense and angry at the same time. While financiers co-operated, distributors also volunteered to pay more than what was stipulated. There must have been at least ten occasions in a single day when, despite all the co-operation, it appeared that the deliveries would not be effected. Each time, it was a new angle to the story.

Besides U.P., C.P. and C.I., where the film was scheduled for release on 26th January by virtue of it being a Thursday, several other distributors had also planned to take advantage of the Republic Day holiday by releasing the film in their circuits too on Thursday. But there was no trace of any delivery till late Wednesday night.

The exasperated distributors, on several occasions, took back their delivery amounts from the producer and decided to leave the laboratory and forget about the release. Anuj Sharma and his brother, Anil Sharma, used all the acting prowess at their command to persuade them to bear with them. The Gujarat distributor, however, decided to forfeit the amount he had paid to the Bombay distributor (that is, the producer himself) rather than deal with him. U.A. Thadani stepped in at the last moment and released it in Gujarat.

While deliveries for most of the circuits were effected on Friday, prints for some are being despatched today (Saturday). Seemingly, the film will be released in many circuits today or tomorrow. It will open in C.I. on Sunday.

In Bombay, the producer-distributor pleaded inability to deliver the prints to the cinemas unless they paid him minimum guarantees in cash. Obviously, no cinema was willing to fall prey to the blackmailing tactics of Anuj Sharma. A minimum guarantee of Rs. 2.5 lakh was reportedly demanded from the main cinema, Metro. While some cinemas suspended one show, others screened repeat-run films. Under the circumstances, no advance booking was opened for the film anywhere. Even at the show timings, cinemas were unaware whether they would be screening Jawabor another film.

Reportedly, producer Anuj Sharma has had to part with virtually all the rights, including satellite, Doordarshan and negative rights of the film, in favour of the various financiers. As for the various distributors of the film, they’ve vowed never to have anything to do with Anuj Sharma in future, such was the mental torture they were subjected to. As one distributor quipped, “It is producers like Anuj Sharma who give a bad name to the entire community of producers.”

Mix Masala

LIKE STORIES, LIKE DRAMAS

Jawab and Pranlal Mehta’s Betaaj Badshah have similar stories. What’s more, both the films star Raaj Kumar and Mukesh Khanna. And still more coincidental is that both the films put their distributors to a hell of a lot of tension during their deliveries! Of course, Jawab beat Betaaj Badshah hands down.

Do You Know?

‘KARAN ARJUN’: ROCK-STEADY IN 2ND WEEK

* Creates an all-time record at Vatva (Ahmedabad) by collecting 83,678/- (nett) in 1st week at Golden cinema.

* Creates city records in the first 2 weeks at Ragini, Ankleshwar by collecting 1,55,501/- in 1st week and 1,20,757/- in 2nd week.

* Creates a record in 1st week at Krishna, Padra (Gujarat) by collecting 1,28,408/-.

* Creates history by collecting more (1,00,887/-) in 2nd week than in 1st week (91,283/-) at Jayshri, Jamnagar, in spite of severe cold and increase in admission rates.

* Creates a theatre record by collecting 3,06,545/- in 2 weeks at Mahalaxmi, Nasik.

* Creates a record in 2nd week too at Sandesh, Malegaon by drawing all shows full. Two weeks’ total: 1,71,970/-.

* Creates a record by drawing all shows full at Padma, Kolhapur. 2 weeks’ total: 2,36,096/-, all full.

* Creates records at both the cinemas of Sangli by drawing all shows full in 1st week. Swaroop, Sangli 74,424/-; Samarth, Sangli 55,160/-.

* Creates records at the following cinemas of Delhi: Moti by collecting 4,04,714/- in 2 weeks, Natraj by drawing all 56 shows full, Alankar by collecting 3,12,342/- in 2nd week, Amba by drawing all 56 shows full, Sonia by collecting 1,82,108/- in 2nd week, Batra by collecting 2,20,000/- in 2nd week, Radhu Palace by collecting 2,37,918/- in 2nd week, and Chaudhary, Ghaziabad by collecting 1,28,654/- in 2nd week.

* Randhir Kapoor, in spite of owning R.K. Studios, will be shooting his PREM GRANTH next week on a set erected at Mehboob Studios. It is because both the floors at R.K. are occupied by sets which stand erected there. One of the sets is of PREM GRANTH itself!

3-E
Education-Entertainment-Enlightenment

Production Boom

The studios in Bombay are having a field day. With so many TV serials being made, there is a veritable shortage of studio floors. When Vinod Khanna did not get a floor for putting up a set for Himalay Putra, he requested Ravi Chopra to let him use a floor at Film City. Although Ravi Chopra wasn’t shooting his serial at Film City, his set was standing erected there. Vinod Khanna volunteered to have Ravi’s set dismantled, erect his own set and, after the completion of the shooting of Himalay Putra, re-erect Ravi’s set. And that’s how Khanna could get a studio floor for shooting his film.

Smart Pirates

As in the case of Hum Aapke Hain Koun..! and Teesra Kaun?, the pirated video cassettes of Rakesh Roshan’s Karan Arjun are also out in the market. The pirates have become smarter now because although Rakesh Roshan had marked each and every print of Karan Arjun, the pirated cassettes do not have any marking. Obviously, the pirates have taken care to edit the marked portions so as not to reveal the identity of the print from which the video copies have been made. Incidentally, although the pirated cassettes are out, the legal cassettes of the film will not be released for another two weeks.

Hotshot

There seems to be a crazy scramble to sign newcomers. Producers seem to be literally queuing up outside the homes of new heroes, offering them unbelievable prices to act in their films. Like Sanjay Kapoor, another debut-making hero who has signed a number of films even before he has had any release is Vinod Khanna’s son, Akshaye Khanna. Besides dad’s Himalay Putra in which he is being launched, Akshaye has — believe it or not — nine more films which he is committed to do. One will be produced by G.P. Sippy and directed by Robin Bhatt. This film is scheduled to roll on 30th January. Besides J.P. Dutta’s Border, Akshaye has also been signed for Jhelum, again of J.P. Dutta. Then there’s one film which he will be doing for Romu Sippy, and another, for Feroz Khan. The latter is on the lookout for a new heroine. Akshaye will also act in a film to be produced by Nitin Manmohan, and another to be made by Compact Disc India. The latter will be directed by Sanjay Khanna. Sanjay Gupta will be directing Akshaye in a film to be produced by T.P. Aggarwal. Then, there’s a film to be produced by Milan Jhaveri, son of late financier Chandrasen Jhaveri. It will be directed by Binny Latif, erstwhile assistant to Rajkumar Santoshi.

Irresponsible

It is all very easy to put the blame on Subhash Ghai for the failure of the Cinema Cinema 100 show held in Bombay on 15th January. But many of the industry people who refrained from extending any form of co-operation to Ghai, are equally to be blamed. As, for instance, Dilip Kumar who let down Subhash Ghai rather badly on the D-day. Dilip Kumar was present for the final rehearsal on 14th January, just a day before  the show, but did not turn up for the event on 15th, giving the excuse of ill-health. Now, if such stalwarts of the industry as Dilip Kumar can act in such an irresponsible manner, God save cinema in its 100th year!

Making English Films On Indians

Tirlok Malik is a non-resident Indian, settled in New York. He is, perhaps, the first Indian who makes English films about India and Indians. His Love, Lust & Marriage was screened at the recently concluded IFFI ’95 in Bombay. Starring himself with Deepti Naval and Samia Shoaib, the film is directed by Ravi Khote, grandson of late actress Durga Khote, and son of international filmmaker Vijaya Mehta. This is Tirlok’s second film. His first, Lonely In America, was a romantic comedy which won several awards and was screened at more than twenty film festivals. Love, Lust & Marriage is about realtionships in the nineties. It is the story of a marriage that has been battered by the American dream, workaholism and the prostitute complex. Our very own Raaj Grover, besides playing a role in the film, is also its associate producer. Tirlok Malik has more projects in the pipeline, presumably all dealing with Indians. As he says, “You can take an Indian out of India, but you cannot take India out of an Indian.”

Hit Parodies

Come elections and one gets to hear parodies of hit songs in the campaigning of various political parties. The Shiv Sena in Maharashtra seeks to embarrass the Congress with lyrics (set to popular tunes) like: Topi ke peechhe kya hai / Panje ke peechhe kya hai (Khal-nayak tune); Moorakh mantri ko dekha to aisa lagaa (1942 A Love Story tune); P.M., tera C.M. deewana / Dawood ko daaley daana / Rishta uska us-se purana / Haay Ram, gundon ka hai zamana (Hum Aapke Hain Koun..! tune).

PEOPLE
Are talking about

** The Sharma brothers — Anil and Anuj — and the tension they gave to the distributors of their Jawab. There was a drama every minute from 25th January at Ramnord Lab., and the uncertainty about its release (on 27th) prevailed till 27th!

** The runaway success of Karan Arjun. Trade pundits predict that it should do a business of Rs. 4 crore per major circuit.

PEOPLE
Are wondering about

** Which would be Sanjay Dutt’s earliest release now — Andolanor Jai Vikraanta?

** Why Raja, which was due for release on 7th April, has been postponed. The answer is: re-shooting. The producers say, it will now be released in early May. Know-alls say, May will become June.

PEOPLE
Are happy about

** The Rajshri people’s decision to phenomenally hike admission rates in cinemas in different parts of the country for their HAHK..!. Their experiment paid off and paved the way for producers and distributors of big films to similarly steeply increase admission rates in the initial weeks of their releases, thereby generating unheard of shares. Karan Arjun is the latest example.

YOU ASKED IT

When established hits can collect handsomely in the Ramzan weeks, why are producers and distributors averse to releasing new films during Ramzan?

– It is one thing to release a new film during Ramzan and quite another thing for an established hit to continue faring well during that period.

What is the ratio of Hindi films to the total number of films released in Indian languages?

– Hindi films account for about 20% of the Indian films released. 60% to 65% are South Indian language films.

Who are the economical music directors?

 –  Anand Milind and Shyam Surender are among the most economical.

CABLE TV RIGHTS: VIDEO DISTRIBUTORS MAKING MONEY

Even as the production sector is trying to figure out what the sale of cable TV rights of films will fetch to producers, Cable Video, an organisation of five video distributors, has already started collecting money by granting cable TV rights to cable operators in Bombay.

Cable Video collects money from cable operators on a monthly and per-point basis. The usual charges are Rs. 4, 5, 6 or 7 per point (household) per month. Cable Video provides video cassettes from its library to cable operators who are affiliated to it.

The five video distributors who are members of M/s. Cable Video are Time, Indus, Bombino, Video Palace and Prism. These video distributors claim to have the cable TV rights of almost all the films of which they hold the home-viewing video rights.

AMEEN SAYANI’S SON WEDS

A reception to celebrate the wedding of Rajil, son of Ameen Sayani, with Krishanjyoti was held on 27th January at the Turf Club, Bombay.

MANISH KUMAR TO WED

Marriage of Manish Kumar, hero of Anokha Andaaz and son of producer Daulat Fulwadhya, with Vandana will be solemnised today (28th January) at Khar, Bombay. A reception to celebrate the wedding will be held this evening at Hotel Centaur.

GAFFARBHAI NADIAWALA ON CBFC PANEL

Producer Gaffarbhai Nadiadwala has been appointed a member of the CBFC advisory panel. The name of his late brother, I.A. Nadiadwala, was inadvertently mentioned in the list of newly appointed members, in place of Gaffarbhai’s name.

‘BOMBAY’ AFTER ELECTIONS | 17 January, 2020

(From our issue dated 21st January, 1995)

Mani Ratnam’s Bombay has still not been cleared by the CBFC (Bombay). It is learnt from reliable sources that the CBFC is awaiting a green signal from the government of Maharashtra. It is also learnt that the Bombay regional office of the CBFC has repeatedly reminded the state government to give its decision on the film. Insiders feel, the decision will not be forthcoming before the assembly elections are completed in the state. Therefore, the release of the film before March is ruled out.

FILM PERSONS ON CBFC ADVISORY PANEL

Some more persons have been appointed members of the Bombay advisory panel of the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) with immediate effect. They are in addition to those appointed on 21st December, 1994. Most of the newly appointed persons are connected in one way or the other with the film industry.

The new members are: Satish Kulkarni, Mahesh Kothare, Ramdas Phutane, Vinay Kumar Sinha, Dinkar Chowdhary, Sheetal Jain, B.S. Shaad, Leena Sen, Virendra Singh Khurana, Harish Mohante, A.K. Bir, S.S. Thapa, Anand, J. Om Prakash, Nitin Mavani, Basu Chatterji, Jyothi Venkatesh, Narendra Desai, Asha Parekh, Tanuja, Farida Jalal, Sushama Shiromanee, Seema Deo, Shama Zaidi, Shobha De, Bhawana Somaaya, Supriya Pathak and Pamela (Mrs. Yash) Chopra.

KAUSHAL BHARTI PASSES AWAY

Noted film writer Kaushal Bharti passed away on 16th January in Bombay following heart failure. He was 65 and is survived by his wife, a son (actor Ashwin Kaushal) and a daughter.

Kaushal Bharti was in the army before he came into the industry. During his army days, he wrote a book, titled ‘From Gun To Pen’. The book was lauded by his friends in the army but he was pulled up by the top brass on the grounds of “not being responsible to his job”. He ran away from the army and came to try his luck in film acting. But he happened to meet Dilip Kumar who gave him a chance as an ‘unofficial writer’ in his own film, Gunga Jumna. Bharti was just a 20-year-old lad when he wrote this script. At 23, Dilip Kumar assigned him to write the script and dialogues for Dil Diya Dard Liya, made by late A.R. Kardar. Thereafter, he became Dilip Kumar’s favourite writer and wrote the scripts and dialogues for Ram Aur Shyam and Sunghursh.

Kaushal Bharti wrote subjects and dialogues for a number of other notable films like Bhai Ho To Aisa, Mela, Tere Mere Sapne, Gambler, Professor Pyarelal, Phandebaaz, Madhavi, Dil Ka Raja, Subah-O-Sham, Santosh, Agni, Buniyaad, Phool Khile Hain Gulshan Gulshan, Hare Rama Hare Krishna, Dharmatma, Janbaaz, Raja Ki Aayegi Baraat and Dalaal (Prakash Mehra). He had also written the commentary for the first 25 episodes of Sanjay Khan’s serial, Sword Of Tipu Sultan.

He had also produced and directed Darindafrom his own script.

At the time of his death, he was scripting Balbir Kumar’s Mahakranti.

DHARMENDRA BEREAVED

Kewal Krishan Deol, father of Dharmendra, passed away in Bombay on 15th January at 2.35 a.m. due to old age. He was in his eighties.

Of Cinema Cinema And A 100 Lapses

NFDC’s Cinema Cinema 100, a celebration show on the occasion of the centenary of cinema, directed by Subhash Ghai and held on 15th January at the NSCI, Bombay, was pathetically dismal. It looked totally incoherent and seemed to have been conducted without a proper script, what to talk of research. A massive show like this should have been planned with a lot of care and executed with even greater care.

But carelessness, rather than care, was the catchword at the show. Subhash Ghai cut a sorry figure when he tired in desperation to hold the show together — the show which had started showing signs of cracking badly, a few minutes after it got started.

It was pre-publicised as the show of shows, the greatest event, blah blah. And yet, there was no compere for such a ‘grand event’! To add to the miseries of the audience, Subhash Ghai had no text to refer to and so he said whatever came to his mind, in broken English and Hindi many times. And to add to the miseries of the organisers, the show was being covered live on Doordarshan. It must have been the first occasion when the small screen must have made the big screen-waalas look so small!

Veterans and legends whose contributions to the cinema industry have been gigantic, were carelessly omitted from the history of cinema. Could one imagine the Indian cinema industry in its present form without the works of Satyajit Ray, Lata Mangeshkar or S.D. Burman? On January 15, one did not have to imagine it. The Cinema Cinema 100 show presented the industry’s history without so much as a reference to these and hundreds of other stalwarts. Why?

To say that the audio-visual system failed, when it was supposed to start, is shameful. But that is what the organisers have said. What is cinema? An audio-visual show, of course. It, therefore, means that cinema failed on the occasion of centenary of cinema. Lumiere Brothers would have committed suicide had they been alive.

The star attendance at the show was indeed suicidal. Except for a handful of big names, many of the artistes did not show up for the show. To sustain audience interest in a show of the kind Cinema Cinema 100 was, star presence was of paramount importance. The audience who had paid Rs. 5,000 for one ticket, naturally felt cheated. After all, NFDC hadn’t promised them the stars in the sky, which were visible from the open-air stadium.

If on the one hand, heavy-weights of the Indian film industry were kept out of the show, Shiamak Davar was given so much prominence, it appeared as if he were a pillar of the industry! Davar and his troupe presented song and dance items which were good, but what was their relevance in a centenary show of cinema?

As if Davar wasn’t enough, choreographer Saroj Khan occupied the centrestage in the dance recital which was supposed to be choreographed by her. Since when have choreographers become dancers? Maybe, since the time directors became comperes. Or since the time Doordarshan switched on its cameras. After all, national coverage is no small event, right Saroj? Unfortunately, all what should have taken place back-stage was taking place in full public view.

The selection of clippings from films down the years was far from satisfactory. If the audience started hunting for logic in the clippings, it (audience) can blame only itself for that. Because, even the organisers would not be able to logically explain the inclusions and exclusions.

One learns that several items rehearsed for the show were simply not presented on the actual day. Which brings one to the more important question: were rehearsals actually held? Doesn’t seem so! For, if a rehearsal had been held, why did a show, announced at the start as a 3-hour extravaganza, stretch on for five hours? And what relevance did the fashion show have in Cinema Cinema 100? Instead, wouldn’t it have been better if regional language cinemas had been given more footage?

And whoever categorised the stars in such absurd classes as natural actors, dialogue actors, singing actors etc. etc.?

About the only interesting features in the show were Johny Lever’s item, Shah Rukh’s performance and Madhuri Dixit’s dance recital. And, of course, the gigantic set put up by art director Nitin Desai who was, at the end of it all, not even introduced to the public.

Little wonder then that the majority in the industry condemned the show in no uncertain terms. Why, B.R. Ishara went to the extent of rushing a telegram to I & B minister K.P. Singh Deo, airing his feelings thus: “After seeing 100 years of cinema, I wish cinema had died at the age of 99 years.”

Perhaps, the only consistent point about the show was that since it was an NFDC production, it had to fare like other NFDC productions. Yes, Cinema Cinema 100 indeed lived up to the NFDC reputation. Only thing, this one did not even have much artistic value.

YOU ASKED IT

Why was the response to the IFFI ’95 in Bombay not so encouraging?

The charm of the festivals has reduced because video cassettes of several internationally acclaimed films, shown in the festivals, are available even before the festivals.

Is Amitabh Bachchan’s decision to corporatise the film industry wise?

Yes, it can go a long way in streamlining the industry. It can also wean away the underworld from the industry. If it succeeds, more industry people will move in this direction.

It is rumoured that Sunny Deol will not be acting in Rakesh Roshan’sKoyla. Is it true?

Yes, Sunny has opted out of KOYLA due to date problems. Shah Rukh Khan may now do the role.

DO YOU KNOW?

‘KARAN ARJUN’: CLEAN SWEEP IN 1ST WEEK

* Creates history by yielding a share of 2,46,000/- from Kalpana, Kurla, Bombay. This is more than 2 weeks’ share of KHAL-NAYAK from the same cinema.

* Creates a record by collecting 1,57,988/- at Jivanjyot, Surat.

* Creates a record in Kanpur by yielding a distributor’s share of 5,25,000/- from 4 cinemas.

* Yields a share of approximately 23 lakh in 1st week from East Punjab, including fixed hires of 4 stations.

* Creates a theatre record by collecting 1,03,000/- at Rachna, Faridabad.

* Creates theatre records at both the cinemas of Amravati by collecting 1,10,004/- at Priya and 1,06,472/- at Shyam.

* Creates a theatre record by collecting 1,24,651/- at Abhay, Chandrapur.

* The first week’s share from C.I. is an unprecedented 15 lakh. In Indore alone, its share surpasses the six weeks’ share of HAHK..!.

* It has created theatre records at Sangeeta, Indore by collecting 1,60,380/- and at Premsukh, Indore by collecting 1,55,686/-.

* Creates theatre records at both the cinemas of Ujjain:  Narendra 75,297/-; and Sundaram 1,05,976/-.

* Creates a city record by collecting 2,71,353/- at Premprakash, Jaipur. Also creates theatre records by collecting 2,67,000/- at Mayank, Jaipur, 1,70,769/- at Paras, Jaipur (32 shows full), and 2,20,052/- at Laxmi Mandir, Jaipur. 1st week’s share: 6,50,000/-.

* It is the first film in the history of Hyderabad and Secunderabad to be continued in 2nd week in as many as 11 cinemas. It was released in 12 cinemas in the first week.

* Dilshad Films, the Nizam distributors of KARAN ARJUN, have displayed 19 banners of the film in the twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad. Bangle shops in the old city have displayed cut-outs of Shah Rukh Khan and Salman Khan due to the importance of bangles in the film.

* The office of the Nizam distributors, Dilshad Films, Secunderabad, is flooded with requests for tickets and more tickets of KARAN ARJUN.

* Although Dilshad Films received more lucrative offers from exhibitors of Nizam, they did not go back on their earlier commitments and gave the film for screening only to those to whom they had committed.

_______

* Irfan Kamal whose debut-making film, CHAHOONGA MAIN TUJHE, did not fare well, is now being signed by reputed makers. He has bagged a film each of Nitin Manmohan, Sajid Nadiadwala and director Mahesh Bhatt (for producer Goldie Behl, son of late Ramesh Behl).

* HAHK..! is the first film in the last 32 years to celebrate silver jubilee at Chitra, Amravati. MUGHAL-E-AZAM and JIS DESH MEIN GANGA BEHTI HAI had celebrated jubilees at the cinema. Incidentally, like HAHK..!, MUGHAL-E-AZAM was also released on 5th August. Sweets will be distributed among cinegoers on Sunday (22nd January) to celebrate the film’s jubilee.

LONGEST TITLE

* Have you heard of a longer title than this one: SHREE SHREE RAJADHIRAJA SHREE SHREE MADHANA RAMARAJA SHREE SHREE VILASA RAJA SHREE SHREE MADHUBANA RAJA SHREE SHREE KRISHNADEVA DONGA RAJA? Well, this 20-word title is that of a Telugu film. It was censored in Madras on 14th December.

DUKHIRAM SWAIN DEAD

Veteran Oriya film actor Dukhiram Swain expired this week due to a heart attack. He was 70. Dukhiram had acted in over 100 Oriya films. He mostly played roles of villains.

KARAN ARJUN | 10 January, 2020

(From our issue dated 14th January, 1995)

Film Kraft’s Karan Arjun (UA) is a tale of reincarnation, told against the backdrop of a village. Both the sons of a widow are murdered brutally right in front of her eyes, by a greedy family member. The widow firmly believes that her sons will be reborn and will come to avenge their murders and the atrocities perpetrated on her. After twenty years, two young men, resembling her dead sons, come to the village and seek revenge, killing all the evil-doers.

Director Rakesh Roshan and writers Sachin Bhaumick and Ravi Kapoor have intelligently padded the reincarnation plot with a lot of masala to entertain the ladies and mass audiences, in particular. There are beautiful songs, superb comedy, a few emotional touches, the supernatural power and a good dose of action.

The first half has a tight screenplay. After interval, some repetitive scenes do hamper the flow of the drama, but yet, the audience interest is kept alive. Climax is stretched a bit too much.

Salman Khan and Shah Rukh Khan have both acted wonderfully. While Salman underplays, Shah Rukh is his usual bubbly self. Salman looks handsome and his physique has been well exploited. Shah Rukh should guard against his twitching of the lips, which is beginning to look monotonous. Raakhee lives her role as the widow. Kajol does a fine job. Mamta Kulkarni looks pretty and acts well. Amrish Puri is superb as the villain. Arjun and Jack Gaud support him ably. Ashok Saraf and Johny Lever are at their comic best and it is difficult to say who among the two is better. Asif Shaikh is good. Ranjeet does a fair job. Dinesh Hingoo and Vishnu Sharma are alright. The rest of the cast lends the desired support.

Direction is intelligent. Rakesh Roshan has given the film a big look and has succeeded in enthralling the audience with the main plot as also the various other elements. Rajesh Roshan’s music is super-hit. ‘Jaati hoon main’ is a fantastic song and the dance steps in it are lovely. ‘Ranaji maaf karna’ has superb audio and visual appeal. ‘Bhangda paale’ has been well picturised. ‘Yeh bandhan toh’ has a haunting tune and its picturisation serves to establish the strong emotional ties between the mother and her two sons.

Photography is remarkable and locations are beautiful. Production values are appropriate. Technical aspects are of good standard.

On the whole, Karan Arjun has taken a fantastic start and will prove a definite overflow film. Looking to the craze, chances of it proving classA are good.

Released on 13-1-’95 at Minerva and 25 other cinemas of Bombay thru V.I.P. Enterprises. Publicity: excellent. Opening: bumper. …….Also released all over to extraordinary houses. 1st day Jaipur 1,50,172/- from 4 cinemas, Bikaner 100%, Jodhpur 100%, Kota excellent, U.P. 100%, Hyderabad 100%.

AMITABH BACHCHAN TO RETURN TO ACTING

Will Amitabh Bachchan return to acting or won’t he?  The answer to this question, which has been haunting the industry for more than two years now, is finally out. Amitabh will return to acting.

The superstar has floated a company called Amitabh Bachchan Corporation Ltd. (ABCL). According to a contract between Amitabh and ABCL, the actor will be available to ABCL for a guaranteed 120 days every year and will follow a fixed engagement schedule and undertake to act in one feature film per year. He will be paid Rs. 3 crore by the company for acting in the film.

The actor can also continue to act in other films so long as they do not conflict with his schedule with ABCL.

Kotak Mahindra Finance Corporation have structured a deal whereby ABCL will encash brand equities of saleable stars. The contract between Amitabh and ABCL is binding for the next 10 years. Amitabh and his family will hold 87% equity in ABCL.

Dream Merchant

The morning papers of today screamed that Amitabh Bachchan would once again act in films. I always knew that he would return to acting and that it was only going to be a matter of time. I also read with interest the details of the company formed by Bachchan. It is called ABCL — Amitabh Bachchan Corporation Ltd.

Having had a late night yesterday, I was fast asleep after I had finished with the newspaper. And yes, I was dreaming about Amitabh and corporations unlimited.

I dreamt that Amitabh Bachchan’s Amitabh Bachchan Corporation Ltd. had announced a film titled Amitabh Bachchan As Corporation Dada. A big muhurt party had been planned. But, unlike other film parties, this one wasn’t being held in a 5-star hotel. Instead, ABCL had decided to throw it in its board-room. Instead of stars and people from the film industry, the launching was to be attended by top industrialists like Tatas, Birlas, Modis, Hindjuas, Ambanis etc.

The day of the muhurt arrived.

The muhurt rituals were also different. Dhirubhai — Ambani, not Shah — cut the ribbon on the bound film script, beautifully wrapped in silver foil. There was no cracking of auspicious coconuts, switching on of camera and sounding of clapper-board. In fact, there wasn’t any muhurt shot, too. Instead, the elite gathering was treated to an audio-visual show of ABCL’s plans, projects in the pipeline etc. A brief outline of the story of the film was also given to the select gathering which included the board of directors of ABCL.

The muhurt was followed by a press conference. Amitabh Bachchan had to answer a line of questions. One journalist asked him how ABCL would pay him Rs. 3 crore for a film? Amitabh asked, what was wrong in that? The journalist shot back, “But, earlier, on your own admission, you used to charge less than Rs. 25 lakh. How come this much rise now?” Amitabh attempted to dodge the reference to his previous remuneration “Oh, I don’t remember having said this,” he said, adding, “It must have been a printer’s devil in some newspaper.”

Another journalist from an eveninger rose and queried, “Why do write-ups in the media about ABCL refer to Ethnic Enterprises as your distribution concern in Bombay? You have gone on record to say that you have nothing to do with Ethnic.” Amitabh smiled mysteriously in reply to that one.

“Who will be your heroine in ABCL’s film?”, asked a third journalist. “My company’s press release will follow in the days to come,” was Bachchan’s cool reply. The journalist wouldn’t give up. “Would it be Sridevi? Or Madhuri? Or Juhi Chawla?”, he continued. Amitabh smiled, “It could be Aishwarya Rai also.”

“And who will direct the film?”, shouted another journalist. “It is usual to announce the director’s name on the muhurt day, isn’t it?” Amitabh looked at the journalist and said, “It may be usual in the film industry but now I am also a corporate personality. If I announce everything together, the stock exchange may experience a tremor. The share prices of ABCL may shoot up so much that it may not be advisable.”

Another member of the fourth estate got up and said, “If your price can shoot up more than 10 times, can’t the company’s share price go up?” Amitabh looked at the guy in disbelief. “Hey, you must get used to the fact that I’m a corporate dada now. Don’t ask me personal questions. I’ve answered enough of them when I was in the film industry only. Now, I have a dual personality. I am first a corporate man and then an actor.”

“What is your holding in ABCL?”, came another query from one corner of the room. “I and my family hold 87% of the shares,” came the reply. “The company virtually belongs to us.” The journalist shot back, “So, you will be paying yourself for acting in your own film to be produced by yourself?”

“That’s right,” replied Bachchan. “Any problem?”

The journalist looked sheepishly. “None at all,” he said. “Only one thing, though. Why don’t you ask all the other heroes to hold the balance 13% shares in ABCL? They’d love to associate themselves with you and your corporation.”

“What purpose would be served by that?”, asked Bachchan.

“To you, then, would go the credit for making the biggest multi-star-cast corporation, Sir,” answered the journalist. “And then, you could also call the company ‘Artistes Corporation Unlimited’ instead of Amitabh Bachchan Corporation Limited.”

– Komal Nahta

TOO MUCH!

The 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. shows of Karan Arjun in Muzaffarpur (Bihar) on 13th January had to be cancelled due to uncontrollable crowds. There was such a large number of people at the cinema that those who did not get tickets began to create problems. Finally, the shows had to be suspended.

In Houston, the film has been released in four cinemas to packed houses. So fantastic is the response that Houston Radio will present Rakesh Roshan live on telephone tonight (14th January) at 10.15 p.m.

3-E
Education-Entertainment-Englightenment

The Heat In The Cold

A good film knows no opposition. This has been proved once again, this time by Karan Arjun. Even as the cold wave in various parts of the country saw box-office collections dip alongwith the mercury, Karan Arjun recorded full houses with hundreds of people braving it out in the cold, outside the cinemas, waiting for tickets. In a city like Jaipur, which is shivering in the cold, the morning show at 6 o’clock on Friday at Paras cinema recorded house-full collections. That’s the heat of a hit — the winter cold notwithstanding!

Impractical Resolution

Although legal video cassettes of Teesra Kaun? were released two weeks after its theatrical release, pirated cassettes had flooded the market at the end of the first week itself. Quite understandably, these very pirated cassettes were also shown on cable TV all over India all through last week. The FMC-FDC joint resolution seeks to restrict the producer from selling cable TV rights for at least six months from the date of theatrical release. While producer N.N. Sippy has, in fact, not sold the cable TV rights, his Delhi-U.P. distributor has served him a legal notice, alleging that Sippy had sold the cable TV rights and claiming damages from him. All of which prompts one to wonder: isn’t the joint resolution of the FMC-FDC impractical?

Authentic Set

The huge set put up at Kamaal Amrohi Studios for F.C. Mehra’s Ram-Jaane is the talk of the industry. Besides being very costly, the set which is a creation of art director Nitish Roy, has a very authentic look about it. It houses a theatre, two tall buildings, a hutment basti etc. Since the entire film will be shot on this set, it has been made of stuff that will last. For instance, real steel girders have been used.

DO YOU KNOW?

* While the industry’s plea to remove the compulsion for cinemas to screen Films Division newsreels has fallen on deaf ears, there is at least one bureaucrat — Bhasker Ghose, secretary, I & B ministry — who is not in favour of forcing cinema owners to show FD films. “It is morally incorrect to make documentaries compulsory,” said Ghose in Bombay recently.

* Doordarshan, which currently has fifteen channels, is not likely to add any more in the near future.

* Hema Malini will reportedly campaign for Sharad Joshi’s Shetkari Sanghatana party in the ensuing assembly elections in Maharashtra.

* FARAAR QAIDI (dubbed) has been released this week at Naaz, Bombay under a new title, YEH MERA KANOON HAI.

* Dinesh Salgia’s Chhotubhai Dresswala has been appointed by the NFDC as the costume co-ordinator for the national film museum set up at Nehru Centre, Worli, Bombay on the occasion of 100 years of cinema. An  exhibition of costumes used in films down the years, has been put up in the museum by Chhotubhai Dresswala.

* In the forthcoming assembly elections in Gujarat, at least two industry people will be in the fray. While Naresh Kanodia will contest from Jamnagar on a BJP ticket, Mehboobbhai (of Yen Movies, Bombay-Ahmedabad) will contest from Mehamdabad on a Congress-I ticket. Bombay exhibitor Gul Achhra may contest, also on a Congress-I ticket, from Ulhasnagar in Bombay.

* Aamir Uliah, who is working at Akriti cinema, Rewa, as  a booking clerk, has been elected mayor of Rewa.

* Police had to be called in to control the crowds on the opening day of KARAN ARJUN at Ramakrishna 70mm, Hyderabad. Looking to the crazy crowds, the second week’s advance booking at the cinema had to be opened on the film’s first day (13th), and the entire second week was also full in advance! The first day’s advance booking (9th January) saw a record collection of 90,000/-! At Aurangabad also, the crowds are uncontrollable and absolutely crazy.

* KARAN ARJUN was released at Sapna cinema, Indore on Wednesday (11th January) in the 9 p.m. show, without announcement. The house was full. A morning show at 8 a.m. was held on Thursday (12th) at Neelkamal, Indore. Even that was full, with a heavy rush of people waiting outside the cinema without tickets.

YOU ASKED IT!

To what do you attribute the terrific opening of Karan Arjun?

– To music, Shah Rukh Khan and Rakesh Roshan in that order.

In the article on stars and their worth, published in your issue last week, why have you put Shah Rukh Khan in Class IV?

–  The classes have been numbered as I, II, III and IV according to the prices charged by stars. Since Shah Rukh’s price is much lower than that of all the other top stars, he would definitely merit a listing in Class IV only.

Is it true that Sultan Ahmed will be releasing his Jai Vikraanta in an incomplete form?

–  These are rumours which are baseless. The film is complete and is being readied for Idd release.

‘DILWALE’ GOLDEN JUBILEE

Harry Baweja’s Dilwale entered combined golden jubilee week on 13th January at Swastik, Bombay. It stars Ajay Devgan, Sunil Shetty and Raveena Tandon. Music is scored by Nadeem Shravan.

‘HAHK..!’ SILVER JUBILEE ALL OVER

Rajshri Productions’ Hum Aapke Hain Koun..! will celebrate silver jubilee on 20th January all over. It will enter 25th week at all the 29 cinemas where it had a premiere release. Silver jubilee at other cinemas will follow in the weeks to come. The film stars Madhuri Dixit, Salman Khan, Mohnish Bahl, Renuka Shahane, Alok Nath, Reema, Ajit Vachani, Bindu, Sahila Chaddha, Dilip Joshi, Priya Arun, Satish Shah, Himani Shivpuri, Laxmikant Berde and Anupam Kher. It is produced by Kamal Kumar Barjatya, Rajkumar Barjatya and Ajit Kumar Barjatya and directed by Sooraj R. Barjatya who has also written the screenplay and dialogues. Music: Raamlaxman. Lyrics: Ravindra Rawal and Dev Kohli. Cinematography: Rajen Kinagi. Editing: Mukhtar Ahmed. Choreography: Jay Borade. Art: Bijon Dasgupta. Audiography: C.S. Narayan Rao.

MUSIC DIRECTOR KAMALKANT DEAD

Music director Kamalkant died on 21st December due to heart failure. He was 60. He was music arranger of Shankar Jaikishan and Kalyanji Anandji and had also scored music for Punjabi and Hindi films, including Sarpanch, Batwara, Aasra Pyar Da and others. He is survived by his wife, a son and a daughter.

BOMBAYSTILL NOT CLEARED

No decision has been taken by the CBFC with regard to Mani Ratnam’s Bombay. As such, the releases of both, the Tamil and Hindi versions, have been postponed. It may be recalled that the Tamil version of Bombay was seen by the Madras regional office of the CBFC and sent to the Bombay office for decision. In Bombay, it was seen by top police officials and other dignitaries, besides the CBFC officials.

HEAVY CUTS IN DUBAI

Karan Arjun was literally butchered in Dubai. Scenes of the temple as also in which Johny Lever appears have been deleted in the prints being screened in Dubai. And since there are plenty of such scenes in the film, it has not been appreciated there for obvious reasons.

‘KARAN ARJUN’ PRINTS RELEASED

Circuit                         No. of prints

Bombay                              58

Delhi-U.P.                           48

West Bengal                       21

Bihar                                 19

Assam                                 4

Orissa                                 5

East Punjab                        12

C.P. Berar                           21

C.I.                                    9

Rajasthan                           7

Nizam                                 8

Mysore                               4           

Andhra                               4

Tamilnadu                           5

Overseas                           26

Total                                251

COMPARATIVE CHART SHOWING NO. OF FILMS (LANGUAGE-WISE) CERTIFIED IN 1992, 1993 & 1994

Language                           1994                               1993                           1992

Telugu                                174                       148                         154

Hindi                                  155                        183                        189

Tamil                                  153                        168                        180

Kannada                             70                       78                         92

Malayalam                          69                          71                          90

Bengali                               44                         57                          42

Marathi                               22                        35                          25

Oriya                                  14                        20                          13

Punjabi                               12                        14                           12

Nepali                                 10                       07                            09

Gujarati                              06                        03                            05

Assamese                           06                        09                            04

Bhojpuri                              04                        02                            08

English                               04                        02                           05

Rajasthani                           03                        05                            03

Tulu                                    02                      01                             –

Bundeli                                02                       –                               –

Manipuri                              02                       03                             01

Haryanvi                              01                      01                             02

Kodava                                01                      01                              –

Gujjar                                  –                       01                              –

Garhwali                              –                        01                             01

Kok Borok                            –                     01                             

Urdu                                    –                        01                             01

Nagpuri                              –                         –                     01    

Sanskrit                               –                         –                             01

Total:                                754                     812                           838  

‘HAHK..!’ VIDEO PIRACY | 2 January, 2020

(From our issue dated 7th January, 1995)

Pirated video cassettes of HAHK..! have surfaced in the market. Reportedly, the illegal video cassette was made from print number 10 which is being screened in the USA. The pirated cassettes are said to be camera copies and have reached North and East India. They are of very poor quality, it is learnt.

The Barjatyas have geared up to take necessary action in this regard.

ZEE TAKES OVER TV ASIA

The Essel group, which controls Zee TV, has taken over the London-based satellite channel, TV Asia, which was promoted by Amitabh Bachchan in 1992. The group is said to have struck the deal for about £14 million.

Classification: 1994

(Total 119 films including 14 dubbed films)

Movie Marvel Of The Century

HUM AAPKE HAIN KOUN..!

AA (Super Hit)

JURASSIC PARK (dubbed)

DILWALE

MOHRA

KRANTIVEER

A1 (Hit)

LAADLA

RAJA BABU

A (Semi-Hit)

BB (Overflow)

Elaan

Yeh Dillagi (‘A’ in Bombay)

Suhaag

Anth

Commission To Overflow

Gopi Kishan

Vijaypath

Khuddar

Salaami

B1 (Commission Earner)

Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa (‘A’ in Maharashtra)

Main Khiladi Tu Anari

Andaz Apna Apna (losing in Bengal & E. Punjab)

Zaalim

Coverage To Commission

Dulaara

Saajan Ka Ghar (hit in Bihar, ‘BB’ in some circuits)

Aatish

Cheetah

Dal-pati (‘BB’ in Bombay, losing in some circuits)

Jai-Kishen

FILM INFORMATION’S BESTS OF 1994

Film: HUM AAPKE HAIN KOUN..!

Producer: KAMAL KUMAR BARJATYA, RAJ KUMAR BARJATYA, AJIT KUMAR BARJATYA (HAHK..!)

Director: SOORAJ BARJATYA (HAHK..!)

Actor: NANA PATEKAR (KRANTIVEER)

Actress: MADHURI DIXIT (HAHK..!)

Villain: NASEERUDDIN SHAH (MOHRA)

Comedian: SHAKTI KAPOOR (RAJA BABU)

Character Actor: ANUPAM KHER (HAHK..!)

Character Actress: AROONA IRANI (RAJA BABU)

Dialogues: K.K. SINGH (KRANTIVEER)

Screenplay: SOORAJ BARJATYA (HAHK..!)

Lyricist: JAVED AKHTAR (1942 A LOVE STORY)

Music Director: RAAMLAXMAN (HAHK..!)

Playback Singer (Male): KUMAR SANU (Ek Ladki Ko Dekha; 1942 A LOVE STORY)

Playback Singer (Female): LATA MANGESHKAR (Didi Tera Devar Deewana; HAHK..!)

Cinematographer: BINOD PRADHAN (1942 A LOVE STORY)

Choreographer: CHINNI PRAKASH (Mast Mast; MOHRA)

Editor: MUKHTAR AHMED (HAHK..!)

Action Director: RAAM SHETTY (ELAAN)

Art Director: NITIN DESAI (1942 A LOVE STORY)

STAR OF THE YEAR: SOORAJ BARJATYA

FILM WEATHER 1994

MOVIE MARVEL

HUM AAPKE HAIN KOUN..!, produced by the Barjatyas and directed by Sooraj Barjatya, easily qualified for the title of ‘Movie Marvel of the Century’. The film broke all past records in every single centre released. It is still doing outstanding business for which the sky seems to be the limit.

100 YEARS OF CINEMA

Cinema completes 100 years in 1995. The industry planned a celebration show to mark the centenary of cinema, and hectic preparations are on to hold a hi-tech audio-visual show at NSCI, Bombay on January 15, ’95. The show is being organised by the NFDC and it will be directed by showman Subhash Ghai.

THEY MADE WAVES

The news-makers of the year were: Sooraj Barjatya for HAHK..!, Sanjay Dutt for his re-arrest under TADA, Amitabh Bachchan for his abstinence from acting, Madhuri Dixit for her performance in HAHK..!, and A.R. Rahman for his hit tunes.

NO STAR POWER

1994 proved that there’s nobody who can be called a star in the true sense of the term. Stars are made and destroyed on every Friday. That is to say, a star’s standing varies from film to film. There was no consistency in any star’s performance at the box-office.

HITS & MISSES

Rajshri’s Hum Aapke Hain Koun..! proved to be the biggest blockbuster of the century and is expected to do a business of over 100 crore, maybe even 125 crore. The other hits of the year were Jurassic Park (dubbed), Dilwale, Mohra, Krantiveer, Laadla and Raja Babu. 1994 also had some major debacles such as Chaand Kaa Tukdaa, The Gentleman, Mr. Azaad, Betaaj Badshah etc.

FEWER RELEASES

A total of 119 films were released in 1994 as against 133 in 1993. There were about two months of no releases. In May and June ’94, the dispute between the FMC and the FDC resulted in FMC putting off all releases. The dispute was on the point of delay in release of video cassettes and telecast of new films on cable TV. Releases were once again upset in October-November due to the outbreak of plague in Surat, Delhi and other places in the county.

VIDEO RELEASE WITHHELD

The Barjatyas showed the way by withholding the release of video cassettes of HAHK..!. Official video cassettes of the film are not out even in the 23rd week of its run. Several other producers emulated the Barjatyas and withheld the video cassettes of their films for two to three weeks and reaped its fruits.

SATELLITE CHANNELS AS SOURCE OF INCOME

Producers found a new source of income in satellite channels. Deals for the satellite rights of thousands of films were concluded in ’94. While some channels have already started, many, including pay channels, will be launched in the months to come.

ALL-TIME HIGH

Admission rates in Bombay cinemas touched an all-time high. The trend started with 1942 A Love Story, the admission rates for which at Metro, Bombay were as high as Rs. 75. Liberty, Bombay charges Rs. 100 per ticket of HAHK..!. A limit on admission rates was sought to be put by the Maharashtra government, but the provision was struck down by the Bombay high court. The court gave cinemas complete freedom to fix admission rates and, therefore, rates and capacities in Bombay cinemas change from week to week.

PRICES ZOOMED, DISTRIBUTORS DOOMED

Film prices zoomed to unimaginable heights in the year gone by. Producers demanded fancy prices, and many distributors paid them the high prices. With the flopping of high-priced films, the losses were huge. Distribution became more risky than ever. Little wonder then that established distributors who’ve been in this line for years together, shied away from buying films and preferred to wait and watch. Trade pundits predicted a crash in 1995.

ENGLISH FILMS IN HINDI

Jurassic Park started a trend of dubbing foreign films in Hindi. But besides Jurassic Park, no dubbed foreign film has made any mark on the Hindi screen. Aladdin, the first animated film dubbed in Hindi, bombed.

CHECK ON VULGAR SONGS

Obscenity and vulgarity in films came in for severe criticism from the public and the government alike. Censorship rules (for vulgar songs/scenes) came to be implemented more strictly.

VIDEO CASSETTES: 2-WEEK DELAY

N.N. Sippy’s Teesra Kaun? was the first film to be covered by the FMC-FDC joint resolution to delay the release of a film’s video cassettes by two weeks from the date of its theatrical release. This resolution applies to all films which were launched on or after 1st January, 1994. The joint agreement also envisages that the cable TV telecast will be delayed by six months. Although the official video cassettes of Teesra Kaun? were not released for two weeks, pirated cassettes made the scene after just one week. Reportedly, they were pirated in Dubai.

SERVICE CHARGE IN U.P. UP

The U.P. government allowed exhibitors in the state to levy a tax-free service charge of Re. 1 per ticket. The service charge was 25 paise before the hike.

SMALL-SCREEN MAGIC

A number of small producers found the small screen more lucrative and bid goodbye to the film industry. They are busy making software for television.

Big producers also entered the small screen scene in a big way – Subhash Ghai, Amitabh Bachchan, Jackie Shroff, Raman Maroo, Jeetendra, K.C. Bokadia, Dhirubhai Shah, Anupam Kher, the Mehras, Kiran Shantaram, J. Om Prakash, Yash Chopra, Lata Mangeshkar, Bharat Shah, Amit Khanna, Mahesh Bhatt, Hema Malini, Sagars, the Hindujas, to name some of them.

HIGH THEATRE RENTALS

Cinema admission rates in many parts of the country were hiked. Alongwith that hike came the hike in theatre rentals. Small and medium-budget films found it difficult to bear the high rentals and proved disasters.

LUCKY IN ANDHRA, UNLUCKY IN KARNATAKA

The Andhra Pradesh government sought to levy sales tax on the turnover of distributors. But the Andhra film industry protested and downed shutters. The proposal to levy the tax was withdrawn.

The Hindi film industry in Karnataka was not as lucky as the Andhra industry. The slab system of entertainment tax (compound tax) was introduced in Karnataka. The rate for Hindi films is double that for Kannada films.

NAAZ: LOST GLORY REGAINED

Naaz building which, once upon a time, used to be the nerve-centre of distribution activity, has regained its lost glory. Almost all the Bombay distributors who matter, have their offices in Naaz now. But the Naaz building continues to remain in a poor condition sans proper lighting, and with broken staircase, unhygienic toilets etc.

TAX SLASHED, TAX-FREE CHARGE HIKED

The Maharashtra government slashed entertainment tax in the state to 50% from September. It also permitted cinemas in the state to levy Re. 1 as tax-free service charge per ticket. The service charge before this was 50 paise.

STATE GOVTS. FAVOUR INDUSTRY

The governments of Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Punjab provided a lot of incentives for the development of their respective regional film industries. But the Union government gave little to the industry. It enacted the Cable TV bill which, too, has not found universal favour. The Copyright Act has been amended but the implementation of the amendments is yet to start.

FILM CITY IN MADRAS

Tamilnadu chief minister Jayalalitha built a beautiful Film City in Madras. It has a number of locations, indoor sets and floors for shooting and is equipped with the latest equipments.

AURAT AURAT AURAT

The advisory panel of the Central Board of Film Certification was reconstituted at the fag end of 1994. More than 50% of its members are now women. This step has been taken to check vulgarity, obscenity and excessive violence in films. People connected with the industry have mostly been kept out of the panel.

THEIR YEAR

The year proved the luckiest for Sunil Shetty and Akshay Kumar among the heroes, and Madhuri Dixit and Raveena Tandon among the heroines. Sunil and Akshay became hot stars and signed films speedily. Madhuri re-established herself as the topmost heroine with HAHK..!. Raveena Tandon dropped her tag of ‘jinxed heroine’, having starred in three hits viz. Dilwale, Mohra and Laadla.

BIG COMPETITION FROM SMALL SCREEN

1994 saw an unprecedented mushrooming of satellite channels, thanks to the Indian government’s open-skies policy. Doordarshan and the various channels posed tough competition to the box-office and they threaten to adversely affect cinema collections even more, in the months and years to come. The cinegoers now have the option to see any number of films on Doordarshan and satellite channels every single day of the week. There may be 80-100 channels in a year or two.

INTERNATIONAL HONOURS

Director Mrinal Sen was made a member of the high-powered international committee set up by UNESCO to celebrate the centenary year of cinema in 1995. Sivaji Ganesan was honoured with the Chevalier in the Order of Art and Literature award of the French government for a long career in the service of cinema. Mani Ratnam was honoured at the Toronto film festival where four of his films were screened.

ON A SOUND TRACK

Cinemas realised the importance of maintenance. All cinemas screening HAHK..! undertook extensive renovation and are still reaping the benefits. A number of cinemas also spent heavily on installing hi-tech sound (Dolby/Ultra) system.

INDUSTRY BEREAVED

A number of film personalities bid adieu to the world in ’94. Among those who passed away were L.V. Prasad, Manmohan Desai, R.D. Burman, Phani Majumdar, Bhalji Pendharkar, Gyandev Agnihotri, V.P. Sathe, Gopi Krishna, Vasant Joglekar, Devika Rani, Subodh Mitra, Atmaram, Kamal Bose and V. Awdhut.

BANNED QUEEN

Shekhar Kapur’s The Bandit Queen was banned by the court. Phoolan Devi, on whose life the film has been made, pleaded for the ban. The matter is still in the court and until it is finally decided, the screening of the film, whether private or public, has been stayed. The film won rave reviews at the Cannes film festival and was hailed wherever screened outside India.

HAYWIRE HYDERABAD

Shootings in Hyderabad were at a standstill for more than a month following differences between cine workers of Andhra and Tamilnadu. The dispute was resolved amicably finally.

BIG PRICES FOR O’SEAS, AUDIO RIGHTS

Overseas and audio rights fetched unheard of prices for big and star-cast films. Two and three crore for Overseas rights and a crore to a crore-and-a-half for music rights were prices heard for the first time in ’94.

YOU ASKED IT

When films, as it is, do not command good initials, is there any logic in releasing two Mithun starrers on the same day?

 – Don’t hunt for logic in everything connected with this industry, because, more often than not, you will be disappointed.

What do success and failure teach one in this industry?

Generally speaking, success teaches him to behave as if he were the greatest. Failure teaches one to very cleverly blame it on bad luck.

What are Rajshris making next?

Even they haven’t decided as yet. After all, great films are not planned in a jiffy.

MAHESH-KISHOR PART WAYS

Music directors Mahesh and Kishor have parted ways. Both will operate individually now. Kishor, who has also been a music arranger of repute, having worked with leading music directors like Laxmikant Pyarelal, Shiv Hari, Nadeem Shravan etc., plans to continue with music direction, music arrangement and background music.

‘KRANTIVEER’ SILVER JUBILEE

Mehul Movies P. Ltd.’s Krantiveer, a Dinesh Gandhi presentation, produced and directed by Mehul Kumar, entered 25th week on Jan. 6 all over. Written by K.K. Singh, the film stars Nana Patekar, Dimple Kapadia, Atul Agnihotri, Mamta Kulkarni, Paresh Rawal and Danny. Music: Anand Milind. Lyrics: Sameer. Cinematography: Russi Billimoria. Editor: Yusuf Sheikh. Action: A. Mansoor.

U.A. THADANI’S SON TO WED

A reception to celebrate the wedding of Kishore, son of Bombay exhibitor and distributor U.A. Thadani, with Namrata will be held on 13th January at the Royal Western India Turf Club (second enclosure), Mahalaxmi, Bombay.

ADMISSION RATES HIKED

Admission rates at Triyug Talkies, Khandwa have been hiked. The new nett capacity per day is Rs. 9,038, while for 28 shows, it is Rs. 63,266. The admission rate for Box (40 seats) is Rs. 10, Balcony (150 seats), Rs. 8, First class (324 seats), Rs. 5, Inter class (320 seats), Rs. 3 and Ladies class (113 seats), Rs. 3.

DO YOU KNOW?  

* Meenakshi Seshadari may have signed a film after years. The film in question is Rajiv Kumar’s GURU CHELA, starring Mithun Chakraborty and Ajay Devgan, and being directed by T. Rama Rao.

* KRANTIVEER which will be screened at the forthcoming IFFI, is the second film of Mehul Kumar to be included in the international festival. His first was MERU MALAN (Gujarati) which was screened at the IFFI in Delhi in 1984.

* Producer-director Ramnarayan has so far directed 95 films in the last 12 years in various languages – Tamil (73), Telugu (15), Kannada (5) and one each in Bengali and Oriya – with various stars including Chiranjeevi, Vijayakanth, Arjun, Vijayashanthi, Srinath, Uttam Mohanty, Shatabdi Roy, Radha and Ambika.

3-E
Education-Entertainment-Englightenment

‘Bombay’ In Bombay

The much talked-about Mani Ratnam film, Bombay, has run into censor trouble. The examining committee of the Madras regional office of the CBFC, which saw the Tamil version of the film, felt, it was not safe to censor it as it dealt with the communal riots of 1993 and showing them on screen may revive public memory about the riots and lead to new violence. Although the members of the committee did not think, there was anything wrong in the film, the certificate was withheld due to the fear of inciting violence. The film was referred to Bombay by the Madras office. The revising committee of the Bombay office saw it on 6th January and its decision is awaited. The Tamil version was scheduled for release on Pongal day, 14th January. The Hindi dubbed version is due for release on 27th January.

Jubilee Jackpot

Cinegoers in Gandhinagar will be in for a pleasant surprise on 20th January. Rajshri cinema, which has been screening Hum Aapke Hain Koun..! since its inception 22 weeks back, will screen the unabridged version of the film from its silver jubilee week onwards, which will commence on 20th January. There will be two intervals in the film, the total length of which will be 5,895.13 metres (in 20 reels). Its running time will be 3 hours and 35 minutes. There will be two new songs, besides new scenes in the film. Ajay Chudasama, the owner of Rajshri, informed that new hoardings would be put up at the cinema, to mark the merited jubilee. New decoration would also be put up at the cinema. On 20th, the Chudasamas will distribute sweets among the audience in all four shows. Although HAHK..! is currently being screened in three shows daily, it will be shown in four shows in the jubilee week.

Incidentally, so floored is Ajay by the film’s performance at his cinema that he has decided to screen HAHK..! every Sunday in the 11 a.m. show even after it is discontinued (its run is exhausted).

Dus Numbri

It took 20 weeks for the video cassettes of Hum Aapke Hain Koun..! to surface in the market. And when they did surface, they were pirated, illegal and of poor quality. Since the Barjatyas had marked the prints with numbers, it has been established that the video cassette has been made from print no. 10, running in the United States of America. Now, that’s what you call dus numbri.

Decline In Film Production

There were a total of approximately 755 Indian films (in all languages) certified in 1994. This includes dubbed films. When compared to figures of previous years, one notices the decline in film production. In 1993, a total of 812 films were issued certificates, while in 1992, there were 838 films which were certified, and 910 in 1991. Really, quite a many producers have shifted from the big screen to the small screen.

Amitabh Bachchan Corporation:
The ABC Of Corporatisation

If the film industry is said to be the most unorganised industry, it may not be long before this title may be a thing of the past. Amitabh Bachchan is all set to make a beginning in this direction. He has floated a company, Amitabh Bachchan Corporation Ltd., which will be involved in a variety of entertainment and related activities. The company will produce and distribute films, make software for television and also involve itself in merchandising and celebrity management. To begin with, it will be a closely held company. It will go public in future, finally emerging as a large entertainment house on the lines of Hollywood companies like Walt Disney and Warner Brothers. Jaya Bachchan’s Saraswati Audio Visual Co. will be merged with ABCL and so will Amitabh’s distribution companies. ABCL will also orgainse and market live shows in India and Overseas. It has plans of acquiring satellite/Doordarshan rights of old films and marketing advertising time for these screenings. ABCL will sign management contracts with stars and celebrities and will handle their marketing, charging royalties for casual appearances, product/event endorsements etc. It will also merchandise products under Amitabh Bachchan signature brand.

No Money, No Dubbing

Raaj Kumar has not completed his dubbing for a forthcoming film, scheduled for an early release. Reason: the producer who was to pay him his instalment at the time of dubbing, could not do so. And when the producer failed to open his cheque book, Jaani failed to open his mouth!

Smart Repartee

A journalist asked director Pankaj Parashar before the latter left for Dalhousie for the shooting of Vinod Khanna’sHimalaya Putra: “Oh, so you too are going to Dalhousie? In Vinod Chopra’s footsteps?” To which Pankaj replied, “Yes, I’m going to Dalhousie, but there’s one difference. I’m going there with a script.”

BOOK ON LATE MANMOHAN DESAI | 26 December, 2019

(From Our Issued Dated 31st December, 1994)

A French journalist, Ms. Connie Hahm, has written a book on late Manmohan Desai and his formula of filmmaking. Entitled Enchantment Of The Mind: Manmohan Desai’s Films, it is an analytical study of the late filmmaker’s work and is being brought out as a tribute to him.

The book will be released on the first death anniversary of Manmohan Desai i.e. on 1st March, 1995. It will be published by Manohar Publishers & Distributors.

DO YOU KNOW?

* The year 1994 saw several Indian film directors make an international mark. Shekhar Kapur hit the headlines for his BANDIT QUEEN. Shaji N. Karun’s SWAHAM made waves in the competition section of the Cannes film festival. Buddhadeb Dasgupta’s CHARACHAR won critical acclaim at the Berlin film festival. Mani Ratnam was paid a special tribute at the Toronto film festival. At the same festival, Adoor Gopalakrishnan’s VIDHEYAN and Dev Benegal’s ENGLISH AUGUST drew huge crowds.

* According to an FMC communication to its affiliates, Akshay Kumar and Sunil Shetty have the maximum number of films signed but awaiting FMC clearance.

* Producers Anil Sharma and Anuj Sharma have parted ways and have separated their businesses now. Anuj Sharma, whose JAWAB is ready for release, has changed the banner from Shantketan to Shivam Chitra Mandir.

* Channel 4 has signed a deal with famous writer Vikram Seth to produce a 13-episode celluloid version of his book, ‘A Suitable Boy’. Shekhar Kapur is being considered for the director’s job. The producers will be David Puttnam and Verity Lambert.

* Kannada cinema has completed 60 years of its existence. Cinemas in Karnataka play host to films in as many as six languages viz. Kannada, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Hindi and English.

* It is, perhaps, the success of JURASSIC PARK in India, which has inspired Bihar to have its own version of Jurassic Park. The fossil remains of the later Jurassic period and of the Cretaccous period found in Sahebganj will be collected and put up on display in natural surroundings.

* For the first time in the history of Bijapur (Karnataka), a Hindi film’s tickets have been sold at the advance booking window. The film is HAHK..! which opened at Amir Talkies on 30th December. The revised rates of admission are Rs. 10 for balcony and Rs. 7 for comfort & ladies. Capacity for 28 shows: 1,48,239/-.

‘CINEMA CINEMA 100’ PREPARATIONS ON

Hectic preparations are on for the celebration show of 100 years of cinema, to be held on 15th January at the NSCI, Bombay. A huge stage, said to cost Rs. 50 lakh, is being erected under the supervision of art director Nitin Desai.

Laxmikant Pyarelal have recorded the title song, ‘Cinema Cinema 100’, penned by Javed Akhtar, at Mehboob Recording Theatre. About 150 musicians played for the title song. They will also perform live at the show.

Anu Malik and his orchestra will play on stage the tunes of legendary music composers from 1935 to 1995. Action director Tinnu Verma will stage a live action sequence with stars and using helicopters, horses and bombs.

Among the stars who are expected to make appearances are Ashok Kumar, Dilip Kumar, Dev Anand, Vyjayanthimala, Madhuri Dixit, Rishi Kapoor, Anil Kapoor, Govinda, Shah Rukh Khan, Akshay Kumar, Raveena Tandon, Manisha Koirala, Mamta Kulkarni and others.

The audio-visual show is being organised by the NFDC and will be directed by Subhash Ghai. Kamlesh Pandey is writing the script. Yash Chopra, Yash Johar, Asha Parekh, Anand Girdhar, K.K. Talwar, Johny Bakshi, Satish Khanna and Kiran Shantaram are the major organisers of the show. Ketan Mehta and Aruna Raje are incharge of the creative inputs. Ravi Gupta of the NFDC is the chief convenor of the show.

Shiamak Davar and his troupe will present dances from world cinema. Bhanu Athaiya’s costumes will be displayed by young stars.

Besides these, there will also be a fashion show by Achla Sachdev, and a laser show.

‘HAHK..!’ MUSIC CASSETTES: COURT RESTRAINS SUPER CASSETTES

HMV on 29th December moved the Delhi high court against Super Cassettes over the issue of sound track rights of Hum Aapke Hain Koun..!, alleging copyright infringement, passing off and unfair competition. The court passed an order restraining Super Cassettes from selling or distributing cassettes of the film. The ad interim ex parte order has given Super Cassettes time till 16th February, 1995 to show cause why the order should not be confirmed.

According to HMV, Super Cassettes had been selling cassettes of HAHK..! in a package similar to HMV’s own. On the inlay card of the cassettes sold by Super Cassettes, pictures of Madhuri Dixit and Salman Khan from different films were shown, it was alleged on behalf of HMV.

HMV’s legal counsel said that HMV had sold about 50 lakh audio cassettes, and 40,000 compact discs of the film. The sale of the film’s audio cassettes by Super Cassettes had eaten into the sales of HMV, it was argued.

The high court appointed five local commissioners who went and checked with nine local dealers. Some cassettes of HAHK..! were also taken in possession from the factory premises of Super Cassettes.

3-E
Education-Entertainment-Enlightenment

Writing On The Wall?

There are two striking features about the new advisory panel of the Central Board of Film Certification, constituted by the central government. One: more than 50% of the panel members are women. Two: there are hardly any film personalities on the panel this time. Both these are the result of the hue and cry raised all through the year over the passing of some allegedly vulgar/obscene songs and objectionable scenes. Is it a warning of strict censorship in the days ahead?

Fascinating Tunes

Among the  forthcoming films, one film of which the music stands out is Indra Kumar and Ashok Thakeria’s Raja. The sampler cassette, brought out by Tips, contains six of the eight songs in the film and it must be said that the cassette is veritably a listener’s delight. Nadeem Shravan are in great form and at least four songs of the film should soon be on top of the popularity charts. The ‘Love you Raja’, ‘Zara phir se kehna’, ‘Bina payal ke baje ghunghroo’ and ‘Shahar chhod chali jaaoongi’ numbers are superb. Its music cassettes, when released, will sell like hot cakes.

Release Strategy

Unlike Mani Ratnam’s Dal-pati (dubbed) which has been released in 19 cinemas in Bombay city and suburbs, Mani’s Bombay (also dubbed) will be released with a very limited number of prints — maybe just 3 or 4 — in the city and suburbs. The video cassettes of Bombay will be withheld indefinitely rather than being released simultaneously.

The Midnight Shows

What better way to spend New Year’s eve than by watching the film of the century, Hum Aapke Hain Koun..!? Yes, the Barjatyas have planned midnight shows tonight (31st December) at two cinemas of Bombay, Liberty and Tilak, Dombivli. Ringing out the old and ringing in the new with didis, devars and deewanas, this!

Watch Out………They’re Coming!

Big industrial houses are making inroads into the cable business in a big way. The Hindjuas have set up a Rs. 500-crore project. K.K. Modi has announced plans of a Rs. 600-crore project. R.P. Goenka has signed an agreement with United International Holding of the USA for a Rs. 100-crore cabling operation in Calcutta.

Small Screen Becoming Big

With the launch of Apstar 2, PanAmSat 4 and AsiaSat 2 satellites early next year, 1995 will be the revolutionary period for Indian television. The beginning of a change will take place with the launch of India’s first pay channel by Zee TV next March. It is feared that at least 15, and may be 20, networks will be in operation by next year.

Tinnu Verma’s New Role

Have you heard of an action director picturising a song? Well, that’s exactly what action director Tinnu Verma is going to do for Vicky Kumar’s Angrakshak. He will be picturising a song on Sunny Deol and Pooja Bhatt. And that song is no ordinary song. It is an action song, hence Tinnu Verma. The lyrics of the song go thus: ‘Aa ab aa sun le sada dil ki’.

Two Together After Two Years

Sridevi and choreographer Saroj Khan, who had patched up their differences many months ago, have come together again now, after a gap of two years. Saroj Khan picturised a song-dance on Sridevi last week at Filmistan Studios for Vasant Doshi’s Kaun Sachcha Kaun Jhootha.

Birthday In Sikkim

Twinkle Khanna was in for a pleasant surprise on 28th December while shooting for Vipin Handa’s Uff Yeh Mohabbat at Chandivali Studios. The unit members celebrated her birthday on the dot of 12 midnight in quite a unique way. Twinkle was participating in a chase scene for the film. The ‘robbers’ who  were chasing her, caught hold of her and burst into the ‘happy birthday to you’ song, much to Twinkle’s astonishment. Incidentally, Sikkim has been re-created at Chandivali for the film’s shooting. An earlier shooting schedule of the film had been held in Sikkim.

Rumoured Weddings

Rumours were rife in the industry this week that wedding bells would soon chime for two heroes and two heroines. Akshay Kumar was supposed to be getting married to his mast mast heroine, Raveena Tandon, and Ajay Devgan, according to the rumour mills, was tying the knot with Kajol. Sounds like the happy ending of a multi-star-cast film, doesn’t it?

New Titles

Finally, a look at some interesting new film titles registered by the title registration committee in its meeting on 13th December:

Mr. Aids Se Rahna Bach Ke, Namard, 1947 To AK 47, Mardo Ne Bazaar Diya, TADA, Ramayan, Punjab, Devar Diwaana, Marta Kya Na Kartaa, Mr. Natkhatlal, Jab Bhi Koyee Ladki Dekhun, Khoya Khoya Chand, Pradhan Mantri Chaudhary Charan Singh, Chupp, Naagin Ka Suhag, Parsa Parsu Parasram, Udhar Ki Taqdeer, Bibi Jawan To Pati Pareshan, Jabde Mout Ke, Haaroongi Nahi, Hero-Heroine, Duplicate, Leaderon Ka Leader, Agar Tum Na Aate, Mile Jo Tere Naina.

PEOPLE
Are talking about

** Aditya Pancholi’s childishness and desperation in making  threatening  anonymous telephone calls to Anil Kapoor to refrain from acting in Subhash Ghai’s Trimurti. The fortnight-long drama ended when the crime branch traced the anonymous calls to a hotel in Juhu and revealed  the identity of the caller. Aditya, perhaps, thought that if Anil would chicken out of the film, it would fall in his lap. A bad joke best forgotten!

PEOPLE
Are whispering about

** The title of Gulshan Rai’s new film, starring Bobby Deol and Kajol. It is called Gupt but the title is being kept a closely-guarded secret (gupt) by the makers. It will be announced at an opportune time. Till then, it is like an open gupt (secret)!

** The unpleasantness between the producer of a recently released film and that of a to-be-released film. Both the films star the hero settled in the South. He plays a don in the unreleased film but his get-up in that film has been used in a song in the released film. The publicities of the to-be-released film were supposed to show the hero in that get-up but the publicities of the released film show him that way. What say?

PEOPLE
Are unaware about

** Subhash Ghai’s Drishti India Ltd. having bought over the Chitrahaar programme of Doordarshan for an astronomical price. Drishti will present Chitrahaar from February. It is likely to be revamped.

** The tension brewing between the distributor of a major circuit and the producer of a mast mast hit of 1994. Reportedly, the distributor did not submit true accounts to the producer, and the latter investigated the matter, much to the former’s embarrassment. The producer has, it is learnt, now also gone to the court.

** Telugu film hero Nagarjuna having slashed his price by an appreciable amount because of the crisis through which the Telugu film industry is passing. In recent times, Nagarjuna is the only star whose Telugu films have done well. And ironically, he is the first star to have reduced his price! Will any Hindi film star follow suit? He’ll be the real hero!

‘TEESRA KAUN?’ VIDEO PIRACY
Pirate Kaun?

Pirated video cassettes of Teesra Kaun? have surfaced in the market. The Eastern circuit, especially, has been flooded with the illegal cassettes which have reportedly been made in Dubai.

The home video rights of Teesra Kaun? are held by Shemaroo Video. Since Teesra Kaun? was covered by the FMC-FDC resolution to delay video cassettes of films launched on or after 1st January, 1994, by two weeks, its video cassettes had not been released. Shemaroo was to release the cassettes after two weeks of its theatrical release. But before that, the pirated cassettes have reportedly made their way into the market.

It is pertinent to note that while the FMC-FDC agreement entails the responsibility (of delaying the video cassettes by two weeks) upon the producer, it is silent about the Overseas distribution rights. That is to say, it does not stipulate delay in Overseas delivery. Teesra Kaun? was released in the Overseas simultaneously with its theatrical release in India.

Just as the industry had begun to realise and reap the benefits of delayed video release, has come the news of piracy of Teesra Kaun? video cassettes. Will this spell the beginning of the end of delayed video release? Because, if all producers were asked to also delay Overseas deliveries by two weeks, it would be too much.

Mix Masala

GHAI, CHOLI & PANCHOLI

The togetherness of Subhash Ghai and choli is like choli-daaman ka sath. Before the release of his Khal-nayak, its choli song had been at the centre of a major controversy. Now, during the making of his Trimurti, the film has made headlines again, thanks to Pan-choli. Aditya Pancholi made threatening anonymous phone calls to Anil Kapoor and his family members, asking Anil to refrain from acting in Trimurti. With so much of choli, Subhash Ghai may have a choli bash this March (1995) instead of his usual Holi bash.

SORRY, NO ROOM FOR SUPERSTAR

Saawan Kumar has replaced his hero of Sanam Harjai and will now introduce Himanshu as the lead man. Himanshu is the son of star-secretary Ved Sharma. When the earlier hero, Faraaz Khan, was to be introduced in the film, Saawan Kumar used to say, “He (Faraaz) is the superstar of tomorrow.” Then why has he replaced him today?

YOU ASKED IT

Is it true that the Rajshri people have acquired Filmistan Studios?

– There have been rumours to that effect in trade circles, but they are baseless. Nevertheless, the Rajshris do have plans to build a studio.

How does the producer of a film like Majhdhaar recover his production cost by giving the film for premiere telecast on Doordarshan?

– Even otherwise, how does he recover his cost in the absence of buyers?

Will the music (A.R. Rahman) of Subhash Ghai’s Shikharalso have a South flavour?

– Since SHIKHAR is a film with a North Indian atmosphere, its music will also have North flavour.

CINE WORKERS’ CESS NOW RS. 2,000

The CBFC will henceforth collect Rs. 2,000 by way of cine workers’ welfare cess per film. But every producer will be required to sign an undertaking that if the cess amount is increased, he would be responsible for payment of the difference.

It may be recalled that the I & B ministry had a while ago stayed the increase in the cess from Rs. 1,000 to Rs. 10,000. Pending reconsideration of the appeal presented by the film industry in respect of the sharp increase of the cess, it has been fixed at Rs. 2,000 now.

GUDDU DHANOA TO WED

Producer-director Guddu Dhanoa will wed erstwhile film journalist Santosh Sud on 9th January at Holiday Inn.

GULSHAN RAI FINE

Gulshan Rai, who had had a paralytic attack a while ago, is fine now. He is attending office regularly.

SHIVAJI AWDHUT NO MORE

Veteran film editor Shivaji Awdhut passed away on 23rd December at 3.10 p.m. in Bombay. He had suffered a severe heart attack about a week before the end came and had been admitted to Ramakrishna Mission Hospital where he died after he suffered another heart attack. He was cremated at Santacruz cremation ground the same day. He was 74 years old and leaves behind his wife, three sons and a daughter.

Shivaji Awdhut was one of the outstanding film editors of his time. He became an independent editor in 1945 and edited almost all films produced by L.V. Prasad, such as Sharda, Chhoti Behen, Sasural, Humrahi, Khilona, Bidai, Dadi Maa, Beta Beti, Jeene Ki Raah etc. He also edited other films like Duniya, Izzat, Vaasna, Amanatand Raja Aur Runk.

Shivaji was instrumental in the formation of the Association of Film Editors, first as a Society in the year 1953, which was thereafter converted into a trade union in 1956. He was the first among the founders of the Association and held the office of its general secretary for five terms. He was also the general secretary of the Federation of Western India Cine Employees for some time.

The 10th day ceremony will be held at Shivaji Park cremation ground on 1st January between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m.

Bandit QueenIs Among Ten Best Films Of 1994

Time magazine, the reputed weekly of America, has put Bandit Queen among the ten best films of the year. The other films are: Pulp Fiction, Heavenly Creature, Yvonne’s Perfume, The Lion King, Once Were Warriors, Wild Reeds, Cairo Diary, White and The Silence Of The Palace.

Praising Bandit Queen, it has observed, “Rape Vicitm. Marauder. Murderer. Super Star! In the early ’80s, Phoolan Devi, an outcast Hindu woman, became a legend as the leader of a gang that preyed India’s corrupt elite. Director Shekhar Kapur is fair to both, the legend and the brutal facts. He dispassionately shows the mean and mythic elements in her story, which make the film a galloping horror show. Phoolan Devi surely thought so. She threatened to sue if the film was shown abroad. And when the Indian authorities saw Bandit Queen, they banned it. In some countries, alas, any brave director risks being an untouchable.”

Industry Heading For A Crash | 20 December, 2019

(From our issue dated 24th December, 1994)

There is panic all around. Films are falling like nine pins. Big and costly films like Mr. Azaad are not even opening to decent houses, what to talk of full houses. Producers and exhibitors are shocked. But the worst affected are the distributors. The entire distribution sector is terribly shaken.

Failure of films is not new. What is new are the heavy losses because of the high prices of films. Film ratios have sky-rocketed. What was unimaginable two years ago is stark reality today. It has become a fashion to quote 60, 70 and more as a film’s ratio. Films which would have fetched 30 to 35 from a major circuit two years ago, are being quoted at 55 and 60. And more often than not, the producer is successful in getting his price. If the producer has had a hit or two in the past, 80 and 85 is the minimum price of his new film.

Whether the producer spends so much on the film or not is secondary. What is primary is whether a film has the power to hold such a high price. If only spending money lavishly could make a film run, Razia Sultan and Roop Ki Rani Choron Ka Raja would have been blockbusters.

It is all very nice to say that prices are governed by the economic laws of demand and supply. But when the industry’s economics itself has gone haywire, where’s the question of price determination by the market forces of demand and supply? On the one hand, film production has declined compared to what the scene was three to four years back. This, mainly because a lot of producers have shifted focus to the small screen. On the other hand, artistes have hiked their remunerations by leaps and bounds. Isn’t this paradoxical? And where is the economics then?

Producers complain that cost of production has shot up phenomenally. Star prices constitute a major factor in production cost. But why have star prices spiralled so high? What are the stars charging so heavily for? For assuring empty houses even in the first show? Anil Kapoor takes pride in saying that he doesn’t sign a film below a certain price level. Does he experience the same pride when a Mr. Azaad or a 1942 A Love Story doesn’t draw full houses on the opening day? Jackie Shroff may smile that despite his flops, producers queue up to sign him at his price. But where does that smile go when a Stuntman records dismal collections on the first Friday? Akshay Kumar, Ajay Devgan or Sunil Shetty may claim to be the new stars who’ve taken the industry by storm. But why doesn’t a Hum Hain Bemisal, starring Akshay and Sunil together, create a storm? Rishi Kapoor may rejoice in the fact that he sticks to his Bata price but why doesn’t he realise that his Ghar Ki Izzat producer would also want to rejoice, but can’t, when he sees its 40% collections on Friday? After Hum Aapke Hain Koun..!, Salman Khan’s Sangdil Sanam collects 35% of the capacity. Chiranjeevi is scarce commodity in a Hindi film but when his The Gentleman hits the screen, the audience become even more scarce.

So where is the star today? And why are producers falling prey to star demands and giving them undeserving prices? Let a star guarantee a week of house-full collections and then, and only then, let him take his price. Would any star have the guts to take up this challenge? Would an established Sunny Deol or a re-emerged Mithun Chakraborty or a hotshot Shah Rukh Khan or a selective Aamir Khan come forward and be the first to ‘underwrite’ a film’s opening? Or would a newcomer like Sanjay Kapoor or Bobby Deol like to do so?

If distributors are up shit street today, they are also to be blamed. Agreed, producers pay crazy prices to stars, but they do so because distributors willingly (or is it unwillingly?) give them the price they ask for their films. In some cases, there is such a mad race to clinch a deal that a producer starts feeling as if he were the future of the industry. In the heat of things, over-enthusiastic distributors had forgotten that they were digging their own graves. Today, if they are crying, they don’t deserve much sympathy. After all, even God does not help those who cannot help themselves.

Looking to the sorry initial business, the pathetic fate of films at the box-office and the ever-increasing competition from satellite channels and Doordarshan, the writing on the wall is clear: THE INDUSTRY IS HEADING FOR A CRASH.

A crisis is imminent and it cannot be averted. In the months to come, several distributors who’ve acquired films at fancy prices, will prefer to give up the rights. Deliveries of films will not be effected smoothly. There will be delivery dramas galore, with distributors pleading inability to take deliveries at the contracted prices. Distributors who had thought, they have got prize catches, will realise that what they, in fact, have are high-priced catches, And producers who are going around, proudly announcing that they’ve got unheard of prices for this territory and that, will have to eat humble pie when they’ll not hear from their distributors.

The current prices of films are suicidal. A Hum Aapke Hain Koun..! may have shown the potential of box-office business but what the producers, distributors and stars have conveniently forgotten to see is the fact that a film like Hum Aapke Hain Koun..! is, as yet, an exception, not the rule. And to base one’s business policy on an exception is nothing but foolhardiness.

– Komal Nahta

PEOPLE
Are talking about

** The far-from-encouraging opening of Pahlaj Nihalani’s Mr. Azaad. At Metro, the main cinema of Bombay, the second show on the opening day recorded about 60% collections.

** The poor quality of so many of our films even today — on the eve of 100 years of cinema! When will the quality of the majority of films improve? After another 100 years?!?

PEOPLE
Are debating about

** Which has got a worse opening — Aladdin or Sone Ki Sita? At Ganga, Bombay, there were a total of 97 people in the 3 p.m. show, 52 people in the 6 p.m. show, and 40 in the 9 p.m. show for Sone Ki Sita?  Of the 52 and 40 in the last two shows, 15 and 5 respectively were members of the press. Depressed? The shows of Aladdin on the opening day at some places recorded collections in three figures (300s, 400s and 500s)!

3-E
Education-Entertainment-Enlightenment

Change Of Hands

Mr. Azaad changed hands in Rajasthan at the last moment. Bobby Anand’s newly set-up concern was to release it in Rajasthan. But Bobby reportedly found the price — fixed just before the release — on the higher side and volunteered to opt out. Pahlaj Nihalani relieved him after giving him a profit of some lakhs. The film then fell in the lap of Ramswaroop Chaudhry.

CCCA Richer By 1 Lakh

Pahlaj Nihalani had to pay a fine of Rs. 1 lakh to the CCCA for having telecast Aandhiyan before completion of 5 years from its date of theatrical release. Before he paid the fine, the CCCA refused to register his Mr. Azaad for Rajasthan.

Exposing Titles Or Bad Work?

If producer N.N. Sippy starts bristling with anger at the mention of one name, it is special effects expert, S. Ghalib’s. The guy, according to Sippy, troubled him so much with the titling of his Teesra Kaun? that Sippy has vowed never to work with him again. Shoddy work apart, Sippy says, Ghalib used to dodge him and his people because he hadn’t done the work he was supposed to do. “Whether my man used to go to his house early in the morning or after midnight, he used to get one standard reply — “Ghalib is not at home.” According to Sippy, Ghalib took more than 45 days to expose the titles — from 1st November to 21st December! And while he took two Eastmancolor negative tins from N.N. Sippy, for exposing the titles, he finally got the titles exposed on Fuji. So, for Sippy’s next film, the doors are closed for Ghalib. Doosra kaun?

In Appreciation

So happy was producer Ashok Ghai with the rushes of the stunt scenes of Jaan, picturised recently by action director Veeru Devgan at Igatpuri, that he gave the 20 fighters, who participated in them, Rs. 1,100 each as a token of appreciation. Two duplicates, who also participated in the breathtaking scenes, were presented Rs. 5,000 each. And to add that personal touch, Ashok Ghai sent the monetary gifts with personal letters addressed to the fighters and duplicates, alongwith baskets of flowers.

No Sound Substitute

What the censors can do to scenes in films, which show the police in bad light, can be seen in Pahlaj Nihalani’s Mr. Azaad. The cutting experts have ordered deletion of lines and lines of dialogues (audio), while retaining the visuals, which looks pretty jarring in the film. Pahlaj, instead of re-shooting the affected scenes, preferred to have loud background music played in the scenes so that the audience can hear the music and see the lip movements. Now music can hardly be substitute for dialogues. What dialogues have been spoken is left to the viewer’s imagination.

Sanjay Dutt Starrers

There will suddenly be a spate of Sanjay Dutt starrers hitting the screen. In a week or two, his Namak will be released. It will be followed by Andolan and Jai Vikraanta. Maybe, all the three will come in a month’s time.

Lucky Producer

Tamil film producer Kunjumohan seems to be very lucky. After the Tamil film, Gentleman, his Kadalan has also hit the bull’s eye. Like Gentleman, Kadalan also has the hit music score of A.R. Rahman. Before Gentleman, Kunjumohan had produced Suryan which was also a runaway hit. While Suryan was directed by Pavitran, in Gentleman, Kunjumohan gave break to Pavitran’s assistant, Shankar, because Pavitran demanded a very high price for direction. Kadalan has also been directed by Shankar. But rumours in the Tamil film industry are rife that Kunjumohan’s next may not be directed by Shankar. Reason: again, the price factor.  Shankar reportedly wants a hefty packet as his fees now. Incidentally, between Gentleman and Kadalan, Kunjumohan had one flop to his credit — rather, discredit.

In Place Of Bachchan

Remember Kader Khan’s script called Jahil? He had written it, keeping Amitabh Bachchan in mind. Producer Farook is now making that film with Ashok Khanna as its director. And in place of Amitabh has come Sunil Shetty.

Fitness Runs In The Building

Not only is Sunil Shetty a fitness freak, he has also made sure that his neighbours in Prithvi Apartments (the building in which he lives) become fit and proper. Thanks to his enthusiasm, Prithvi Apartments houses a beautiful gymnasium on the ground floor for the residents of the building.

Film Quiz Examination!

What kind of an actor has the film industry been looking for ever since Amitabh Bachchan stopped signing films? What are Aamir Khan’s self-imposed restrictions? Why is the hero willing to destroy the girl he loves in Darr? What are the shortcomings of Anil Kapoor and Jackie Shroff? Why did Dilip Kumar avoid over-exposure? Such were the questions asked in the English paper examination of Class X in Chamanlal DAV High School in Sector 11 of Panchkula, near Chandigarh. They may have amused the students but the principal had to face the ire of the parents who protested strongly.

Mix Masala
AND NOW, IT’S NILU PHULE

The latest from the film world to join actively the world of politics is Nilu Phule. The Marathi and Hindi film actor, who is associated with the Bahujan Mahasangh, called on the Janata Dal leader, V.P. Singh, on 19th December in connection with the ongoing bid to form a secular and democratic party in Maharashtra to fight the ensuing elections.

JOLLY MUKHERJEE BEREAVED

Dinendra Kumar Mukherjee (77), father of singer Jolly Mukherjee, expired in Bombay on 19th December due to heart failure. He is survived by Jolly and two daughters.

VIDEO LIBRARIES MUST HAVE COPYRIGHT CONSENT LETTER: SC

In a significant judgement, the Supreme Court has come to the rescue of the first copyright holders of a film by giving its approval for protecting their rights vis-à-vis the video libraries.

While allowing the appeals of the South Indian Film Chamber of Commerce, Madras, filed against the order of the Madras high court, the division bench of Justice N. Venkatachalaiah and Justice K.S. Paripoornan upheld the validity of Section 9(2) and Section 10(2) of the Tamil Nadu Exhibition of Film on Television Screen through Video Cassette Recorders (Regulation) Act, 1984.

Under Section 9(2) of the Act, which had been earlier struck down by the Madras high court as ultra vires, every person keeping a video library was required to produce in respect of each film in his possession, whenever demanded by the concerned official, a letter of consent got from the first owner of the copyright of such film under the Copyright Act, 1957, or its assignee thereunder…

The Section 10(2), which was held by the high court as ‘invaild and unworkable’, prohibited every video library owner from selling, letting on hire, distributing or putting into circulation a cinematograph film which had not been certified by the authority under the Cinematograph Act “as suitable for public exhibition…”

Referring to the Section 9(2), the Supreme Court said, “We are constrained to hold that the high court faulted in having reached the conclusion that the provision in Section 9(2) of the Act, enacted by the state legislature, was not an ancillary provision enacted in pith and substance, on the subject of ‘cinema’ lying within its legislative competence.”

YOU ASKED IT

If Sooraj Barjatya were to direct a film for an outside banner, what price could he command for his direction?

 – This is a hypothetical question because Sooraj will not be directing films for outside banners. Otherwise, he would easily get the highest price ever paid to any director in India.

Why are fewer films being made nowadays?

Because many producers have shifted to the small screen.

Is there a golden rule about which film runs and which doesn’t?

Yes, there is. A good film runs while a bad film, doesn’t! Simple, isn’t it?

Our writers copy Western films. Our music directors lift South tunes. Our action directors ape stunts of Hollywood action thrillers. Who is original then?

– Our audience, because they don’t even judge a remake by the fate of the original.

‘MOHRA’ CELEBRATES SILVER JUBILEE | 13 December, 2019

(From our issue dated 17th December, 1994)

Trimurti Films Pvt. Ltd.’s Mohra entered silver jubilee week on 16th December. Producer: Gulshan Rai. Co-producer: Ajay Shah. Director: Rajiv Rai. Cast: Naseeruddin Shah, Akshay Kumar, Sunil Shetty, Raveena Tandon, Raza Murad, Paresh Rawal, Gulshan Grover, Tej Sapru, Kunika and Sadashiv Amrapurkar. Music: Viju Shah. Lyrics: Anand Bakshi and Indivar. Dialogues: Dilip Shukla. Camera: Damodar Naidu. Action: Raam Shetty. Art: Bijon Dasgupta. Dances: Chinni Prakash. Sound: B.K. Chaturvedi. Production designer: Shabbir Boxwalla.

Mix Masala

NONE IN FIVE, FIVE IN ONE

Sanjay Kapoor whose first film has taken five years to come, will have five releases in the first year (1995). His Prem will be followed by Raja. Then there are Beqaboo, Kartavya and Rama Naidu’s next, all of which will come in 1995, but not necessarily in that order.

FILM COMPLETION DAY

For director T. Rama Rao, December 13 was a film completion day. Shootings of two films, directed by him, were completed on that day in Madras. The two films: Pahlaj Nihalani’s Mr. Azaad and Prasad Art Productions’ Hathkadi. Mr. Azaad, it may be mentioned, was completed and censored earlier, but a new song has been added, which was shot in Madras.

SLIM SANU

Ace singer Kumar Sanu has lost a lot of weight. He has shed about 27 kilos of his fat and looks much slimmer and more handsome these days.

TOO LATE TO REPLACE

Ajit Dewani who has a penchant for making spoof films, has completed Teen Moti, inspired, obviously, by Subhash Ghai’s Trimurti. Teen Moti stars look-alikes of Sanjay Dutt, Jackie Shroff and Shah Rukh Khan. With Anil Kapoor replacing Sanjay Dutt in Trimurti, Ajit Dewani is in a fix. Since Teen Moti is complete, he cannot replace the look-alike of Sanjay Dutt by the look-alike of Anil Kapoor.

HECTIC PREPARATIONS FOR
‘CINEMA CINEMA 100’

Hectic arrangements are being made for Cinema Cinema 100, a show to be held on 15th January ’95 at Vallabhbhai Patel stadium, NSCI, Worli, Bombay to celebrate the completion of 100 years of cinema. Subhash Ghai will direct the show which would be ticketed and the proceeds of which would go to the Cine Artistes Welfare Trust.

The National Film Development Corporation, which is presenting the high-tech audio-visual show, held a press conference on 12th December at the Taj, Bombay. It was said at the conference that the show had the full support of the artistes and technicians of the industry. It is quite a different thing that Asha Parekh who, as the president of the Cine Artistes’ Association (CAA), was to have also addressed the conference, did not show up for it .

A huge stage for the show will be erected by art director Nitin Desai. A model of the stage set was shown to the press.

The script for the show is being written by Kamlesh Pandey. Ketan Mehta is the technical director, and Tinnu Verma, action director of the show.

PEOPLE
Are talking about

** The fantastic terms being offered by exhibitors to the distributors of Karan Arjun. Its music has become such a rage that the film is hot as ever in exhibition circles. It is said, the Rajasthan distributor will cover his entire MG royalty amount before release itself! As for the Bombay distributor, he will have covered over a crore on the day of release.

** How Mithun Chakraborty had never had it as good even when he was among the top, as he is having today. He is in great demand among producers, mainly because he gives bulk dates and completes films in the shortest possible time. And for that, he gets his price. Discipline then is the catchword.

PEOPLE
Are wondering about

** How Mahesh Bhatt continues to be busier than the proverbial bee, despite his line of flops. That’s the magic of the man, one supposes.

** Why Hum Hain Bemisal could not even command a decent opening, not to talk of house-full collections, at many of the centres. In Bombay, some of the cinemas recorded 60% collections. Gopi Kishan, starring Sunil Shetty solo, had opened extremely well two weeks back. Last week, Zaalim, starring Akshay Kumar solo, also opened to very good houses. And Hum Hain Bemisal stars both, Akshay Kumar and Sunil Shetty. Does that mean, two positives make a negative?

PEOPLE
Are waiting for

** The animated Aladdin to be released in Hindi. Because it will decide the future of animated films in India.

3-E
Education-Entertainment-Enlightenment

Mr. Pahlaj

Pahlaj Nihalani’s stamina is amazing. It was Madras by night and Bombay by day for him this week. He used to be in Bombay during the days, finalising his chain of cinemas and other release arrangements of Mr. Azaad. He used to fly to Madras every night to oversee the picturisation of an additional song for the film, returning to Bombay the following morning. And the song picturisation used to go on till 2 o’clock in the morning.

Whither Ban?

While on Pahlaj Nihalani, the guy is pretty upset with the CCCA’s threat that his Mr. Azaad would not be registered for C.P.C.I. Rajasthan because he had given his Aandhiyan for telecast before the completion of five years from its theatrical release. Argues Pahlaj, “It is common knowledge that Aandhiyan was a disaster. There was no business whatsoever of the film in any circuit, for several months before it was telecast. And the 5-year embargo was broken by me by just two months. Does the CCCA think, the film would have fetched distributors returns in two months when it couldn’t do so in four years and ten months? The ban on registration of the next film of the producer is supposed to deter producers so that the business of distributors is not adversely affected. In the case of Aandhiyan, there is no case of an adverse effect because there’s no business to be affected, whether adversely or otherwise.” Pahlaj further questions the locus standi of the CCCA to take action when his distributors (who are common for Aandhiyan and Mr. Azaad, except in C.I.) don’t have any objection. “And the CCCA has pronounced its judgement without even affording me an opportunity to be heard,” he laments. He adds, “While Aandhiyan was produced by me, the producer of Mr. Azaad is my son, Vishal.”

Chalo Madras

Madras was much like Bollywood this week and last. A number of Hindi films were being shot there. There was R. Mohan’s Kabhi Na Kabhi at Murugalaya Studios. T. Rama Rao completed the shooting of Prasad Art Productions’ Hathkadi there. Pahlaj Nihalani also shot an additional song for Mr. Azaad in Madras this week. Shakti Samanta’s Ahankaar and Rajkumar Santoshi’s Ghatak are still progressing there. A long schedule of Time’s Sabse Bada Khiladi was recently concluded in Madras.

Of I’s And E’s

First it was Puneet Issar, then Puneet Essar, and now it is just Punit. This is no name-game. Punit says that this jumble is no creation of his. “Everybody knows me as Punit and moreover, I don’t believe in gimmicks,” he clarifies. So, short may be sweet for him as far as his name goes but his career is progressing by leaps and bounds. Though he got recognition with the TV serial Mahabharat, he is doing just one more for the small screen, and that is Junoon. “That too, because my role was good and has been eventually appreciated.

Punjab Panicking

Distributors and exhibitors in East Punjab are panicking. Films are faring so badly that exhibitors are not able to cover even the amount of compound tax, what to talk of theatre rental and distributor’s share. To feed their cinemas, exhibitors are forced to offer MGs and fixed hires to distributors, thereby incurring losses. A cinema like Sangeet in Ludhiana, which invariably gives good shares, could not give anything in Aao Pyar Karen. The film was in deficit in the first week itself. Zakhmi Dil ran for only one day in Jalandhar and had to be discontinued on the second day (Saturday). Why, even on the first day, the last show had to be cancelled because there was no audience!!

The Ad Man

Akshay Kumar is currently away in Mahabaleshwar. Shooting for a feature film? No. Holidaying? Not at all. He is doing what he has never done before — shooting for an ad film. And even though Akshay does not smoke, he is shooting for an advertisement of a cigarette brand, Red & White. The ad film, it is reported, has an action base (the stunts are being composed by Akbar Bakshi) and is being made on a lavish scale. So, smoking may be injurious to health. But it is beneficial enough for Akshay’s pocket to prompt him to shoot — and smoke!

Free Shows For Kids

The Modis have adopted a novel way to publicise their animated film, Aladdin, due for release next week. They are organising free shows of the film in Bombay, Delhi and other cities on Sundays, and entry to these shows is by invitation. Since the film is basically targeted at children, schools are extended invitations to get their kids for the show.

Repeat Value

B.R. Chopra’s mega TV serial, Mahabharat, is all set to return on Doordarshan. Grapevine has it that the Chopras have been paid a very handsome amount for the telecasting rights this time!

Sorry, No Films

The sandalwood smuggler of the South, Veerappan, is averse to any producer making a film on him. Veerappan has reportedly made it clear in a charter of demands submitted by him to the government that nobody should be permitted to make a film based on his life story. Among his other demands is one for Rs. 1,000 crore which he wants for his rehabilitation. Veerappan wants no one short of the President of India to give him an assurance that his demands would be met after he surrenders to the police.

DO YOU KNOW?

* Pahlaj Nihalani’s MR. AZAAD will be released in Dolby Stereophonic sound system.

* Although cuts have been offered in only two songs of MR. AZAAD, Pahlaj Nihalani has decided to delete them completely from the film. “The media has written that the lyrics of those two songs are vulgar, and although the songs are not actually vulgar, I’d rather not include them in the film due to the anti-publicity,” is Pahlaj’s explanation.

* Boney Kapoor’s PREM will be released on Idd (in March ’95). Sanjay Kapoor’s second release will be RAJA. Incidentally, Indra Kumar and Ashok Thakeria are planning to release RAJA at the same time as they had released their BETA i.e. in the first week of April.

* Vashu Bhagnani, the producer of Tips’ COOLIE NO. 1, feels quite close to the beauty no. 1 in the world — Aishwarya Rai — and not without reason. Aishwarya and Vashu stay in the same building (Ram Laxmi) at Khar, Bombay. Vashu, therefore, splashed the Khar and Bandra streets with colourful banners, welcoming the beauty queen home. Aishwarya returned to India from London on 16th December.

* Mithun Chakraborty was impressed enough with the Tamil film, AMIDHIPPADAI, and the hero’s role in it to allot immediate dates to Rajiv Babbar who is remaking the hit in Hindi. The Hindi version will go on the sets very soon in Madras. Satyaraj had played the hero in the Tamil version.

* Gulshan Kumar’s SHABNAM, made for the big screen, will be premiered on Zee TV on 25th December.

* ZAALIM has created a theatre record by collecting 1,17,782/- in 1st week at Filmistan, Meerut.

* ZAALIM has created a theatre record by collecting 1,04,384/- in 1st week at Panchsheel, Amravati.

* GOPI KISHAN has created a theatre record by collecting 48,259/- in 2nd week at Ashok, Jalgaon.

* HAHK..! has broken all previous records by collecting 1,11,001/- in 19th week at Prabhat, Solapur.

* HAHK..! has created an unprecedented record by collecting 11,87,314/- in 50 days at Shringar, Hubli.

* HAHK..! has created a city record by collecting a total of 14,83,900/- in 14 weeks at Vandana, Jabalpur.

* HAHK..! has created a city record by collecting a total of 19,34,836/- in 19 weeks at Chitra, Amravati. Share: 12,38,474/-!

* HAHK..! has created a city record by collecting 64,132/- in 19th week at Vasant, Akola. Total for 19 weeks: 11,94,987/-.

* HAHK..! has created a city record by collecting 76,011/- in 15th week at Raj, Raipur.

* HAHK..! has created a city record by collecting 46,535/- in 11th week at Manohar, Dhule.

* HAHK..! has created a Khandesh record by collecting 90,034/- in 9th week at Natwar, Jalgaon.

* HAHK..! has created a Bhandara district record by collecting a nett of 91,776/- (93%) in 1st week (29 shows) against a capacity of 1,01,442/- at Prabhat, Gondia.

* HAHK..! has created history by collecting 1,21,308/- (nett) in 28 shows in 1st week at Aarti, Wardha.

* HAHK..! has created a city record by collecting 85,000/- in 1st week at Apsara, Yavatmal, in spite of simultaneous release at Shyam, Yavatmal.

* HAHK..! has created a city record by collecting 56,893/- in 13th week at Jayant, Chandrapur. Total: 10,06,447/-.

* HAHK..! has created a record by collecting 91,341/- in 18th week (21 shows) at Rambha, Bhopal. Total for 18 weeks: 21,15,095/-.

* HAHK..! has yielded a record share of 6,23,617/- in 10 weeks from Plaza, Ajmer. 10th week’s collection: 78,379/-.

* HAHK..! has created another record by collecting 1,12,000/- in 10th week at Mayur, Kota, in spite of severe cold. Total: 13,10,522/-, record.

* HAHK..! has created history by collecting 1,28,016/- (gross) in 6th week at Ashok, Alwar. Total: 10,37,817/-.

FMC CLEARANCE OF FILMS A MUST

At a joint meeting of the Film Makers Combine and the Film Distributors’ Council, held on 11th December, it was reaffirmed that no distributors’ association would register any film for distribution unless the same had been cleared by the clearance committee of the FMC.

YOU ASKED IT

Who is the hottest music director in the music market today?

A.R. Rahman.

Is it worthwhile to pay an astronomical price to a heroine when films are not sold on the name of the heroine?

Films may not be getting sold on a heroine’s name, but if a heroine’s presence can increase the ratio by some lakhs, the total recovery from all-India may go up (due to her name) by more than the extra price paid to her (as compared to a lesser heroine). And that makes business sense.

Established heroes don’t reduce their prices even if they have given a line of flops. How come?

If a hero is established once, he doesn’t go out of work even after a string of flops. And since heroes are always in short supply, their prices also don’t come down.

NEW INSTRUCTIONS FOR FILM CENSORSHIP

In the light of the discussions held in the meeting of the Central Board of Film Certification, on the subject of stricter implementation of the guidelines, the following instructions have been issued for implementation with immediate effect.

All Examining Officers shall ensure that while examining films, they pay special attention to visuals and dialogues that are likely to offend human sensibilities on account of vulgarity and violence. Guideline 2 (vii) deals with offending human sensibilities on account of vulgarity, obscenity and depravity, 2 (iv) deals with violence, 2 (vii), 2(ix), 2(x) and 2(xi) deal with violence and vulgarity with special reference to women. To facilitate uniform interpretation of these guidelines, a list of visuals that are likely to be treated as infringement of these guidelines is drawn up for ready reference of the members of the committee examining the films in the RC (revising committee) and EC (examining committee). This list is only illustrative, and members of the committees are expected to apply their mind based on the situation and the context obtaining in the film while using the interpretation of the various guidelines referred to therein. It is expected that such visuals, as are listed, should be normally deleted from the sequence. However, the committees are free to make exceptions, taking into account the relevance of these visuals to the story line. While making these exceptions, due care should be exercised by the Examining Officers to restrict the retention of these visuals to the minimum. It will be the special responsibility of the officers to make a noting to this effect in their report.

Committees may make suitable variations in their recommendations, depending on the classification to be recommended in that particular film. However, irrespective of the class of certification, feature films should be recommended for certification free from vulgarity and needless violence.

The Board has carefully considered the need to impose restrictions on the portrayal of the police force and the responsible authorities in the government and the political executives. On careful reconsideration, it has been decided that the existing guidelines should adequately serve the purpose. Hence Examining Committees/Revising Committees shall ensure that visuals that denigrate, demoralise or bring disreputation to constitutional authorities/institutions including the judiciary in general are not presented in the film. However, there should be no objection in portraying individual characters according to the story line in the film.

While examining foreign films, the guidelines that are applicable to the Indian films are also equally applicable to them with the proviso that committee members shall keep in mind the provisions of guideline 3(ii) which provides for interpreting the guidelines in the context of the culture of the country to which the film relates.

MORE WOMEN ON CBFC, COMMITTEES

The government has amended the Cinematograph (Certification) Rules to provide 50% representation to women in the various committees of the Central Board of Film Certification. The amendments also make provision for the adequate representation of women on the CBFC and its advisory panels.

Giving this information at a meeting of the consultative committee of MPs attached to the I & B ministry, on 14th December, I & B minister K.P. Singh Deo said, this step had been taken following complaints that there was excessive sex and violence in films.

ATUL AGNIHOTRI TO WED SALMAN’S SISTER

Atul Agnihotri will get married to Alvira, daughter of writer Salim Khan, and sister of Salman Khan, today (17th December) at Centaur Hotel, Juhu, Bombay.