Despite the grim scenario within the film industry, most exhibitors are pinning their hopes on the Idd and December releases, which they feel will partially compensate for the losses in the past few months.
Among the films that are eagerly looked forward to are Sanjay Gupta's KAANTE and Indra Kumar's RISHTEY, both confirmed for a December 6 release, besides Yash Chopra's SAATHIYA, scheduled to open on December 20.
The scramble is, however, for the much-talked-about KAANTE, which every exhibitor seems keen to book at his theatre. Let's hope the prospects improve in December!
SANJAY GUPTA STANDS BY HIS DISTRIBUTORS
Speculation is rife that KAANTE will hit the theatres either on December 6 or December 20. But Sanjay Gupta waives off all such speculation. “The film is confirmed for December 6 and there is no going back on that,” he says.
However, Sanjay is irked by the speculative reports pertaining to the film. One such report stated that he told his distributors that they were free to take back their money with a 2% interest if they had any doubts about the film. “I was shocked when I read it. The distributors have stood by me through thick and thin. It's thanks to their co-operation that I could face the challenges. Besides, all of them are firm on taking the delivery at the contracted price. That shows how confident they are of the film,” Sanjay says.
Meanwhile, Gupta's White Feather Productions has entered into a tie-up with Sunil Shetty's Popcorn Entertainment for the premiere shows and promotions of all events pertaining to KAANTE.
'PAANCH' TO HAVE AN ELABORATE INTERNATIONAL RELEASE
Remember Tutu Sharma's PAANCH, which withstood a tough battle with the Censor Board and was finally cleared by the Tribunal? The film was in the midst of another controversy a few weeks ago when an agitated director Anurag Kashyap accused Tutu Sharma of being indifferent to the film and keeping its release on hold.
Well, Tutu reveals that all that is a matter of the past and the film is finally confirmed for a December 20 release. What's more, Tutu is currently in the process of tying up with at least two corporate houses for the promotional campaign of the film. That apart, he is dubbing the film in English so as to ensure a full-fledged international release of the film.
“In fact, the English dubbing is now nearing completion. The English version will have a running time of one hour, fifty minutes,” Tutu informs, adding that he is tying up with mainstream American and Australian distributors for the international release.
PAANCH will have to withstand the tough competition from SAATHIYA and other big releases that are lined up for release on December 20, but as Tutu says, his film belongs to an entirely different genre and will have its distinct identity at the box-office.
G.S.'S MIGHTY PLANS
Getting stars to sign on the dotted line isn't the only challenge our film-makers face. Getting the right title is an equally difficult job, especially if the title is in demand. Last week, there was talk that at least four producers, including Subhash Ghai, were engaged in a close race to acquire the title MOTHERLAND.
There was news that the title, which was originally registered by Sajid Nadiadwala, was said to have been passed over by him to G.S. Entertainments. But G.S.'s Bunty Walia denies that he has the title. “I am not even aware of the title,” Bunty clarifies, adding that he is in no hurry to register any title at the moment.
On the production front, dates have already been chalked out from April for the Salman-Sohail starrer, to be directed by Madhur Bhandarkar. “It will be shot in a start-to-finish schedule from April to July,” Bunty reveals.
There is also a major project in the offing in 2004, which Bunty defines as one of “epic proportions”, in association with a major Hollywood studio. “It will be shot in Hollywood. A few Hollywood actors will also be involved,” he says.