Industrialist-politician T Subbarami Reddy, who produced Hindi films like Vijay, Chandni and Lamhe, today announced a national award in memory of filmaker Yash Chopra to be given to an outstanding film personality each year.
"In my friend's memory, I want to constitute Yash Chopra National Memorial Award. It consists of Rs 10 lakh and a citation. The award will be given to an outstanding film personality every year by TSR foundation," said Reddy, a Congress leader who was a close friend of Chopra for three decades.
Describing Chopra as a great filmmaker, the Rajya Sabha MP told reporters here that the award is likely to be given on Chopra's death anniversary. The Bollywood icon died in Mumbai on October 21.
Recalling his friendship with Chopra dating back to 'Silsila' days, Reddy said Chopra continued to direct hit films for almost 60 years because he understood the audience's pulse.
"In 1981, 'Silsila' screened in my Hyderabad theatre Maheshwari Parmeshwari. Though the film did not do that well in other parts of the country, we celebrated silver jubilee in Hyderabad. I met Yashji during that time and we became great friends. It was a 31-year-old friendship," he said.
Reddy is credited with helping Chopra at a time when the filmmaker was disheartened as several of his films failed at the box office in the 80s post-'Silsila'.
"After 'Silsila', Mashaal' and 'Faasle' did not do well. His confidence took a dip. We decided to join our luck together to make 'Vijay' in 1988. The film was a success and we went on to make hits like 'Chandni' and 'Lamhe'," he said.
The 69-year-old national award-winning filmmaker said he was shocked to hear about Chopra's death just weeks before the release of his last film 'Jab Tak Hai Jaan'.