'Shikhar' director upset with media ...

By Manissha Despaande, Indo-Asian News Service

imageMumbai, (IANS) Director John Mathew Matthan, whose second film "Shikhar" met with a poor response at the box office, is upset over the media attack on his film.

"A few leading publications tried to rip apart the film. One newspaper went to the extent of giving it half a star. It was like assassinating the film. It appeared to be a very calculated attempt to finish the film," Bollywood Trade quoted him as saying.

Trade pundits attribute the film's failure to its release date, Dec 31, but Matthan explains he had no option other than releasing it on the stipulated day.

"It was solely subject to theatre availability. I had earlier planned a Dec 16 release but I wasn't getting the theatre bookings," he informed.

There was talk that he was contemplating trimming the second half of the film after the first three days but Matthan denies it.

"A few of my friends in the trade did suggest that I edit the film but I felt it was a bit too late in the day to make changes," he said.

Meanwhile, his friends have suggested he seek tax-exemption for the film.

"I am in the process of applying for tax exemption. It could probably prove to be the silver lining for my film," he said.


T-series Pakistan venture in trouble

T-series chief Bhushan Kumar's attempt to make an entry into Pakistan's music market has met with a setback.

A few months ago, Kumar made a tie up with Pakistan-based Geo music, owned by the Jung group, to release the music of the Sanjay Dutt starrer "Zinda" simultaneously in India and Pakistan, reports Bollywood Trade.

However, Kumar said he found it difficult to go ahead with the plan due to the formalities outlined by the Pakistan government.

"We are still working out the legalities of the whole process and it may take its own time. It is not exactly an easy process to enter the Pakistan market. The rampant piracy there is another big hurdle in the whole process," he said.


Boney Kapoor hopes to streamline film industry

Producer director Boney Kapoor, the newly elected president of the Film Federation of India (FFI), plans to streamline the functioning of the industry with his innovative ideas.

"The streamlining process is all the more necessary at a stage when major corporate houses are making their foray into production. I intend to get all the organisations under one umbrella and have a collective representation for all problems pertaining to the industry," Bollywood Trade quoted him as saying.

His leadership is also being counted upon to cut across barriers and elevate the industry status.

"I am not a miracle man to change things overnight but I will definitely try to use my 25-year experience to make a difference to the functioning of the film trade. I want to give it my level best.

"I want to give the industry a new image of a very organised and happening industry," he said.

He said the film industry's cup of woes was full at the moment.

"Taxes are being imposed at every stage, which is a major deterrent. Another major problem is rampant piracy, which is affecting the collections of films at the box office. The two need to be tackled with an organised plan of action."


Suniel Shetty plays Anna in 'Fight Club'

Director Vicky Chopra has named Suniel Shetty's character Anna in "Fight Club" - the nickname used by his friends and family in real life.

Why did Chopra choose the name 'Anna' for Suniel's character?

"I chose that name deliberately because it carries a special aura so characteristic of Suniel. He is revered by his friends as an elder brother or 'Anna'," said Chopra, Bollywood Trade reported.

In the film, Suniel plays a don who shields his brother Mohit fiercely. "It is a humane character laced with negative shades," he said.

The film has been scheduled for release on Jan 26, which happens to be a Thursday.

"We want to break the myth of Friday and make the best of the holiday crowd," Chopra said.