Ranbaxy enters filmmaking business

Mumbai, March 5 (IANS) "Dharm" director Bhavna Talwar and her producer-husband Sheetal have tied up with Religare, the financial investment arm of pharma major Ranbaxy that seeks to promote intellectual cinematic talent.

"We're starting a film fund which we'll announce. We were being approached by several corporate houses for movie deals, but we weren't sure if that was the right thing to do," Sheetal told IANS.Bhavana and Sheetal have invited the likes of Pankaj Kapur and "Cheeni Kum" director R. Balakrishnan to the company.

"The idea is to have a bank of creative film people. I'm certain there are many more Bhavna Talwars out there. We've lost the creative thread because we didn't respect talent. I'm not saying we shouldn't do entertaining cinema. But the reality is we can make money even through realistic cinema.

"We've to keep putting out products like 'Dharm' and the audience for it is bound to evolve. But even the motive behind experimental films is suspect. Everyone wants to invest Rs.5 million in a movie like 'Bheja Fry' and make Rs.1.5 million. With this attitude we can never promote good cinema.

"Our idea is to just rake in 20 percent of our investments. In any business that's a fair return. We need to encourage wealth of talent."

Besides Bhavna's directorial venture written by Mohinder Pratap Singh Awasthi, Asif Ali Shaikh, who edited "Dharm", is making a fairy tale fantasy.

"It reminded me of Salman Rushdie's 'Haroun & The Sea Of Tales'. But it isn't a children's film. Shaikh's film goes to the floor in June. We're also producing ad filmmaker Johnny Pinto's film, which would be an Indo-US co-production. It will convey a contemporary message on consumerism."

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