After the success of Hollywood hit, High School Musical, Indian banners are betting on new faces in youth-oriented films. With eight films due to release this year; producers Aditya Chopra, Karan Johar, SRK, Subhash Ghai and Kumar Mangat make a strong point that teen flick has finally arrived.
Ashish Patil, head of the newly launched studio Y Films, says, “If you search online for teen films being made in the West, there will be more than 300 titles. Films like American Pie series are being lapped up. But we had not tapped that market in a focused manner until now.” He adds, “We have set up a new studio which is producing three such films this year itself. Also, once we launch a fresh face, we don’t leave them to fend for themselves. We offer all of them a three-film contract.”
Director Roshan Abbas, who is making Always Kabhi Kabhi under Shah Rukh Khan’s banner with two debutants, points out that the youth have a growing spending power. Roshan says, “Young people today decide the fate of movies. They have started earning and exercise their spending power generously. So why not make films that are specifically made for them?”
Kumar Mangat’s son, Abhishek Pathak, who is producing Pyaar Ka Punchnama, says working with fresh talent is purely a business requirement today. He says, “It’s not good for any business to be dependent on a very small bunch of people. In the film industry, there are few A-listers who work only within their camps, which limits the number of films that can be made. The same logic holds true for directors and technicians.” He adds, “We need to get out of the mindset that only films with stars work. So many of those have bombed recently.”
Subhash Ghai is going to release two movies with debutants later this month, says, “If these films do well, distributors will take notice and it will give us courage to continue making these films.”
Luv Ka The End, directed by debutant Bumpy, features Shakti Kapoor’s daughter Shraddha and launches Taaha Shah. A chick flick, it revolves around casual dating and frequent break ups. Their next, Mujhse Fraaandship Karoge (August 12) features Nishant Dahiya, Tara D’souza, Saqib Saleem with Saba Azad and revolves around youngsters using social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter to meet and date. The last one, to release towards the end of this year, is Virus Diwan (December 30) which will launch Boney Kapoor’s son Arjun as a young hacker wanting to make it rich quickly.
Pyaar Ka Punchnama
Produced by Wide Frame Pictures, Pyaar Ka Punchnama will feature Kartik, Rayo, Divyendu, Nushrat, Sonalli and Ishita and talks about men having to fulfill atrocious demands being made by their girlfriends. The film releases on May 20.
Produced by Subhash Ghai under Mukta Searchlight Films, Cycle Kick will release on the same day as Love Express. Directed by debutant Shashi Sudigala, the film features newcomers K P Nishan Nanaiah and Sunny Hinduja in lead roles. The film revolves around two brothers who live in a small coastal town and how their life changes after they come across an old cycle.
Student Of The Year
Jointly produced by Dharma Productions and Red Chillies Entertainment, Student Of The Year will be directed by Karan Johar and will launch Mahesh Bhatt’s daughter Alia, David Dhawan’s son Varun and his ex-assistant director Siddharth Malhotra as an actor. It’s also the first time Karan is making a film without his lucky mascot Shah Rukh Khan as lead.
Always Kabhi Kabhi
Being produced under Shah Rukh Khan’s Red Chillies Entertainment, Always Kabhi Kabhi is a high school musical featuring debutants Satyadev Dubey and Zoa Morani. Ali Fazal and Giselle Monterio also feature in the film, which is based on director Roshan Abbas’s 1999 play Graffiti and talks about school memories.
Also produced by Subhash Ghai under Mukta Searchlight Films, Love Express will release on June 10. Directed by debutant Sunny Bhambhani and featuring Sahil Mehta, Mannat Ravi, Vikas Katyal, Priyam Galav and Om Puri, the film is set on a train journey and has two parallel love stories, one wanting to break up and the other wanting to reunite after a breakup.