FLASHBACK | 13 January, 2023
(From our issue dated 17th January, 1998)



A statue of celebrated filmmaker late L.V. Prasad will be unveiled today (17th January) at Jubilee Hills check post, traffic island in Hyderabad at the hands of Andhra Pradesh chief minister N. Chandra Babu Naidu. The road no. 2 on Banjara Hills will also be renamed as L.V. Prasad Marg today. The honours will be done by B. Satyanarayana Murthy, minister for municipal administration.

A stereo recording theatre will be inaugurated today at Prasad Film Laboratories, Hyderabad, at the hands of A. Madhava Reddy (minister for home and cinematography) and Dr. Akkineni Nageswara Rao.


Rekha, daughter of Ganesh Jain of Venus Record & Tapes, will wed Sidharth on 1st February at CCI East Lawns, Churchgate, Bombay.


Music director Shambhu Sen Jamal Sen, brother of music director Dilip Sen and father of music director Sameer Sen, expired on 13th January in Bombay due to brain haemmorhage. He was 65 and is survived by his wife, three sons (Sameer, Sanjeev and Lalit Sen), two daughters and five brothers (Madan, Tansen, Inder, Nihal and Dilip Sen).

Shambhu Sen had scored music in Mrig Trishna and Banno.


A new air-conditioned cinema, Saaz, will open at Bhandup, a distant Bombay suburb, in March or April ’98. It is controlled jointly by VIP Exhibitors and H.K. Shah.


Actor Shahid Bijnori, father of actress Shagufta Ali, expired on 10th January in Bombay. He was 57 and had worked in over 100 films including Bahu Begum. He is survived by his wife and Shagufta.


Hukumchand Kapoor, son of Laxminarayan Kapoor of Bharti Film Distributors, Indore, expired on 13th January in Indore.


The management of Swapnalok cinema, Udaipur, has decided to close the cinema due to non-payment of dues to distributors by the cinema controllers, Mutha Films, Jodhpur. The management has decided to keep the cinema closed till all the dues are paid and no-dues certificates, presented to it.


About 43 producers of Marathi films have applied to the Maharashtra government for assistance under the new policy of Rs. 15 lakh aid. In an attempt to revive the dying Marathi film industry, the cultural affairs department of the state government abolished entertainment tax on Marathi films last November and also evolved a scheme for grant of aid of Rs. 15 lakh each to 15 producers every year.

A high-level committee comprising nine Marathi film personalities was recently set up to select the 15 good quality scripts. This committee is expected to finalise the 15 names within a month, and financial aid to produce films based on the approved scripts will be disbursed before 31st March, 1998.

The committee comprises Raj Dutt, Sulochana, Vasant Kanekar, Rohini Hattangady, Charudutt Sarpotdar, D.M. Mirasdar, S.N. Navre, Vijaya Mehta and Mohan Agashe, besides cultural affairs secretary Chitkala Zutshi. It has a 3-year term and has the powers to chalk out the criteria for a ‘good film’.

The 43 producers who’ve applied for the aid have all submitted their scripts to the committee for scrutiny. Cultural affairs minister of Maharashtra, Pramod Navalkar, in the meantime, appealed to Marathi film producers and actors who have switched over to Hindi films, to return to Marathi cinema.


Will Zor and Banarasi Babu be released on 30th January?

– Yes, they can come on Idd. Work is on on a war-footing on the front of both the films. Insiders, however, reveal that at least one of the two will make it on 30th January.

Why did producer Vashu Bhagnani start his Biwi No. 1 without any fanfare?

– One presumes, Vashu did not have a launch party because his close friend, Ramesh Taurani, is under arrest. Vashu is proving to be a friend no. 1.

Why does the audio cassette of ABCL’s Saat Rang Ke Sapne not mention the name of the music director?

– ABCL’s audio cassettes are manufactured and marketed by Gulshan Kumar’s Super Cassettes. Since the music of SAAT RANG KE SAPNE is scored by Nadeem Shravan and in view of the case against Nadeem vis-
à-vis Gulshan Kumar’s murder, the company has preferred not to mention the names of Nadeem Shravan on the inlay cards.


Priyadarshan Directs Akshay, Sunil, Tabu In A.G. Nadiadwala’s Film

Producer A.G. Nadiadwala has signed Akshay Kumar, Sunil Shetty and Tabu to play the lead roles in A.G. Films (P.) Ltd.’s Prod. No. 21, tentatively titled Raftaar. It will be directed by Priyadarshan. The film went on the sets on Jan. 15 with a 10-day shooting schedule. Two songs have also been recorded. They were penned by Majrooh Sultanpuri and set to tune by Anu Malik. Written by Neeraj Vora, the film has in its supporting cast Pran, Asrani, Gulshan Grover, Rakesh Bedi, Sharat Saxena and Paresh Rawal. Cinematographer: Jeeva. Art: Sabu Cyril.

‘Love Today’ Rolls

Producer Mansoor Ahmed Siddiqui launched Anas Films’ Love Today on Jan. 15 at Gemini Studios, Bombay. The launching is being followed by a week-long shooting schedule. Being directed by Rajat Rawail from his own story, the film stars Jackie Shroff, Govinda (special appearance), Raveena Tandon (special appearance), Priya Gill, Vinay Anand, Sadashiv Amarapurkar, Asha Sachdev, Rajoo Shreshtha, Rakesh Bedi, Javed Khan, Maya Alagh, Neeraj Vora, Razzak Khan and Kiran Kumar. Screenplay: Raju Saigal, S.M. Ahale and Sandeep Bhaumick. Dialogues: Javed Siddiqi. Cinematographer: Nirmal Jani. Action: Hanif. Choreographer: Raju Khan. Art: Sunil Singh. Sound: Vinod Potdar. Lyrics: Sameer. Music: Uttam Singh.


* ZOR has been offered a fantastic MG for a small station — Adipur — of Saurashtra. The exhibitor has made an offer of Rs. 25,000 more than the total share of GUPT from two nearby small stations viz. Gandhidham and Anjar!

* HMV has devised a different marketing plan for its BADA DIN due for release in Bombay and Calcutta next week. The plan will rely on tremendous participation from students and other prospective viewers. This is being generated by press campaigns, telemarketing and one-to-one interactions at college campuses. The music (Jatin Lalit) of BADA DIN, it must be added, is gaining in popularity day by day.

* Two internationally renowned singers, Boy George and Apache Indian, will appear in two different songs of Bappi Lahiri’s LOVE STORY ’98. Boy George has already recorded an English song in his own voice and even participated in its picturisation in the recent 10-day shooting schedule in London. Apache Indian will participate in a song picturisation in Bombay.

* NFDC’s CHAR ADHYAY may not be able to stick to its scheduled screenings at the ongoing IFFI in New Delhi as it has not been cleared by the Film Certification Appellate Tribunal. The CBFC objected to a single key scene in the film which is based on Rabindranath Tagore’s 1934 novel. The CBFC cut off a portion of the scene depicting the murder of a woman, because it showed bare flesh, albeit in a flash. Kumar Shahani, the film’s director, also seems to have got into a controversy with the Vishwa Bharati Board which owns the copyrights of all Tagore’s writings and songs. The Board has obtained a stay on the film’s screening on the ground that Kumar Shahani had violated all terms they had agreed upon, barring the financial one. These include okaying the translation of the script by an expert from Vishwa Bharati, having its expert present during the film’s shooting, and obtaining a fresh permission when the film was not completed within the stipulated period of one year. Jaya Bachchan, who has dubbed for heroine Nandini Ghoshal in the film, has urged the registrar of the Vishwa Bharati to withdraw the injunction against the film’s release. She has also resigned as a member of the Vishwa Bharati’s disputes committee.

* Popular television actor Nitish Bharadwaj will be fielded by the BJP from a constituency other than Jamshedpur (from where he won last time) in the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections. BJP general secretary Pramod Mahajan said in a statement in Bombay that a false impression had been created that Nitish was being denied a BJP nomination.


Film With Saraswati, Laxmi For The Other

The Zor dispute relating to East Punjab territory has been settled. The film had reportedly been sold to two distributors, Desh Raj and Saraswati Pictures. One hears, Desh Raj has been given Rs. 8 lakh profit. Laxmi for relinquishing the rights!

Signs Of Revival

Mysore circuit has been a dull circuit as far as deals for Hindi films are concerned ever since the Karnataka government abolished the slab system of taxation and introduced 110% entertainment tax for non-Kannada films. In September last year, entertainment tax was brought down to 70% but this reduction didn’t really help distributors because exhibitors proportionately hiked their rents and, consequently, most of the benefit didn’t reach the distributors. Recently, veteran Mysore distributor R.N. Mandre mustered courage and acquired three films at 10% of the major territory’s price. The films are N.N. Sippy’s Silsila Hai Pyar Ka, J. Om Prakash’s next, to be directed by David Dhawan, and starring Shah Rukh Khan and Karisma Kapoor, and Glamour Films’ untitled under-production venture, starring Jackie Shroff, Shah Rukh Khan and Juhi Chawla, and being directed by K. Sashilal Nair. Let’s hope, these three deals prompt producers to be more reasonable in their prices, and distributors to be more enterprising.

1998: The Year Of Anupam Kher?

1998 may well be an eventful year for Anupam Kher who hasn’t had too many releases in the past two years. To start with, he has Zor and Saat Rang Ke Sapne to look forward to. In Saat Rang Ke Sapne, Anupam is the third angle of the love triangle, the other two being Arvind Swamy and Juhi Chawla. As the year progresses, the audience will see Anupam in Salaakhen (“a lovely film, better than Ziddi,” is how Kher describes it), Jhoot Bole Kauva Katay, Bade Miyan Chote Miyan, Tips’ Jab Pyar Kisise Hota Hai, Tips’ film, directed by Kundan Shah, and, of course, Feroz Khan’s Prem Aggan.

Lucky Day

It is a matter of joy that both the Gujarati films released last week have not only done very well in the first week but have also been appreciated by the audience. Both, Govindbhai Patel’s Desh Re Joya Dada Pardesh Joya and Amubhai Patel’s Pardesi Maniyaro are raking in good money at the ticket counters. Yet another regional language film, B.S. Shaad’s Laali (Punjab), is also doing very well in Punjab. Laali, too was released last week. Which means, January 9 was a propitious day for regional language films.