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|May 24, 2000||
'I bet only on a good director'He's known in the industry as Mr Moneybags. Flops don't faze him, hits only add to his reputation. He is the biggest producer and distributor of Hindi movies in India today. From being big-time diamond merchant to promoting Michael Jackson's Indian tour, Bharat Shah has done it all. At present, this movieland Midas has a number of projects up his sleeve, including producing Ramgopal Varma's film Jungle and the B4U channel.
How do you choose the films you want invest in?
I bet only on a good director. A good director always delivers a good product. Ramgopalji and Rajkumar Santoshi are very good directors. They always come up with different films, which provide good results. It depends on each case. If a person is a good actor and good director, then I help them. I think if a person works hard, he can come up.
You are a businessman. Why did you move to financing films?
Films are a kind of business by themselves, aren't they?
Could you tell us about your forthcoming projects?
I have two projects on the floor. The first is Chori Chori Chupke Chupke, which will be directed by Abbas-Mastan. The other is Lajja, which is being directed by Rajkumar Santoshi and stars Anil Kapoor, Jackie Shroff, Madhuri Dixit, Rekha, Manisha Koirala, Mahima Chaudhary and Aishwarya Rai. Lajja is a big budget film with a strong subject and script. We will probably release it during Diwali. We have already finished shooting 50 per cent of the movie.
We have also launched B4U, a music and movie television channel that is highly established and successful abroad. We have launched the music part and will be launching the movie channel in the coming month. We have the best software and a lot of new movies, so we are confident we will succeed.
What makes a movie successful?
As I said, it is the director who makes the movie a good one. If the captain of a team is good, the results will also be good. With a good director, 99 per cent of the time you will not go wrong. Varmaji, Santoshiji and Abbas-Mastanji all know their job. If you don't interfere, you will get good results most of the time. I am happy with all the different films and projects I have worked on.
A lot of film production companies are forming their own Internet ventures. Do you think this is a passing trend or one that will prove successful?
I think it is very risky because the production and distribution business itself is very risky. I think people must be a little careful when dealing with these things... But only time will tell.
Bharat Shah spoke to Namrata Nadkarni
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