Interview: Yash Chopra on Mumbai Film Festival, Indian Cinema & his 2012 Shahrukh Khan Starrer Bollywood Hindi Movie

BUSAN, SOUTH KOREA - OCTOBER 09:  Director Yas...

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Mumbai, October 22, 2011 (Washington Bangla Radio/IBNS) Padma Bhushan Yash Chopra is among India's most successful cinema personalities and four-time recipient of the Best Director as well Best Film awards among numerous accolades he has received. Noted films of the Dadasaheb Phalke award winner film-maker include Waqt, Deewar, Kabhi Kabhie, Silsila, Lamhe, Chandni, Darr, Dil To Pagal Hai, Veer-Zaara and so on, and his next film starring Shahrukh Khan, Katrina Kaif and Anushka Sharma is expected to release around Diwali of 2012 (no title has been announced for the film yet). The writer, director and producer is also the founder of the venerable Yash Raj Films. He celebrated his 79th birthday three weeks ago.

Yash Raj films have just announced their next project "ISHAQZAADE" written and directed by Habib Faisal and produced by Aditya Chopra which will introduce Arjun Kapoor and Parineeti Chopra as the lead pair. in lead roles. Ishaqzade is expected to have a May 2012 release date. A digital poster has been released by YRF on their official You Tube channel.

Yash Chopra is all for giving way to budding talents when it comes to making films. Sreya Basu catches up with the veteran filmmaker at the 13th Mumbai Film Festival (MFF) organised by Mumbai Academy of Moving Images (MAMI) in this candid interview.

What makes Mumbai Film Festival different from other fests?

We had very, very good films at the 13th Mumbai Film Festival. The most important thing today is the expanding market of Indian films. Our distributers are now marketing their (foreign) films and vice versa. We are now being able to do business with our films. There is a huge market for our films outside India. And the fest this year provided a perfect platform for one-to-one discussions with distributers. Today the market of distribution comes from all over the world.

Do you think film festivals really help films in getting market?

Film festivals are important because they provide a platform to artistic and non-commercial films…I am not saying whether they are good or bad films. But because they don’t otherwise get a market or platform, it is during festivals that you get to see such films from all over the world. Almost all film festivals have some focus point and I feel, giving a market to non-commercial films is most important.

And what about contributing towards the art itself?

Definitely. Take Mumbai Film Festival for example. It gives great opportunity to film-goers, students of films, film critics….it gives young talents an exposure to the interest of cinema. This year we have one-to-one line ups on business deals. Budding filmmakers could meet distributers from all over the world, show their films and crack the deals. It is good for our industry as a whole. As I keep saying the filmmaking must cater to both art and business.

You and Ramesh Sippy…both veteran filmmakers…will be making comeback with your directorials on Diwali 2012. Can we call it clash of the titans?

(Laughs) There is no clash. Our films will not clash…every film has its own platform.

These days we see many fresh faces in the industry...most of them don’t even have proper training in acting. What do you have to say about that?

Bollywood is like any other business…anyone can come and join it. But then it is a very competitive business. It’s not that if you learn acting or dancing you can make a place for yourself. Only if you have talent you can survive here.

Many of our films are being nominated for international awards; we also have our share in Oscars. Do you think international fame ensures better collection at the Box Office?

The biggest award for a filmmaker is public award. No award is bigger than that. If public likes your film, then it is a hit…else not. And Oscar is not the last ambition of the day. Oscar definitely is a big award and if one gets it, he must feel happy. But for me, no award is bigger than public appreciation.

You have achieved so much in life. Which was the most memorable part you lived so far?

Definitely my college days…I dreamt a lot during my childhood days and achieved even more. Now that when I sit alone, I remember my friends. I belonged to an average middle-class family. I still cherish those fun-filled days with my friends.

Are you still in contact with any of your friends?

Ahh….it’s difficult you know. We all are scattered to different places post college…some in Delhi, I in Mumbai…some even out of India. But even today, it feels good when I remember them.

You have been a teacher to many newcomers in the industry. Do you remember your teachers?

Whenever I used to do any mischief I used to get beaten up by my teachers and elders in the house…yeh toh mamuli baat ho gayi thi.

- India Blooms News Service (IBNS)


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