Mumbai, April 21 -- Be it Khamoshi (1996), Devdas (2002), Black (2005) or Guzaarish (2010), film-maker Sanjay Leela Bhansali's work has never gone unnoticed.
While many director-producers of his calibre tend to underplay their achievements when it comes to winning awards, Bhansali is honest when he says they are important to him.
He was recently conferred with two prestigious honours - Padma Shri and the National Award for his production, a biopic of Mary Kom. Here, he talks about his future projects and a foray into Marathi films.
You have been on an award-winning spree of late. Post being conferred with Padma Shri, you also received a National Award for your production, Mary Kom (2014). How does it feel?
It feels good to get awards. When a film like Mary Kom wins a National Award, you feel happy that your one year was spent well, and you are satisfied that you have told a good story. Now is a good phase for me. We are releasing an Akshay Kumarstarrer, we are working with the likes of Ranveer (Singh), Deepika (Padukone) and Priyanka (Chopra) in Bajirao Mastani. So, I am happy.
Does winning an award encourage a producer to make more films?
Winning an award does make me happy, but that is not why I produce films. I make them because I like them. It could be anything from an offbeat film to a commercial one. If the script appeals to me, I will produce it. Some get appreciated, some don't. But if two movies don't work, that doesn't mean I will stop producing films.
We have heard that you are planning to foray into Marathi films?
I always wanted to be part of Marathi films. I have finalised a script, and we are working on it. As a child, I used to watch a lot of Marathi films. Their audience is very receptive towards good cinema; they don't only want commercial stuff. Once the revenues come in, then more people will come forth to make these films. I have been a big fan of this cinema, be it films made by V Shantaram, Dada Kondke or Kashinath Ghanekar.
You have worked with Akshay Kumar as a producer twice. Do you plan to direct him anytime soon?
Akshay is a fantastic actor; I am very fond of him. He is one of the best actors we have today, and he can do any role as he is very passionate about his work. I will work with him the day he gives me 150 days to shoot.