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Sanjay Gupta: on stories and more

Producer Sanjay Gupta speaks to Roshmila Bhattacharya about his forthcoming film Das Kahaniyan, Sanjay Dutt and his alleged link-ups.

india Updated: Dec 07, 2007 12:34 IST
Roshmila Bhattacharya

The buzz is that the Sanjay Dutt-Sanjay Gupta dosti is over. You weren't even around to welcome him back home after his release on bail.
I had to be at the Censor Board in town. But as soon as I had the censor certificate (for Dus Kahaniyan) in my pocket, I drove straight to Sanju's home and we had a happy reunion. There was no need to make it public.

All this talk about a fall-out is nothing but tabloid gossip. I understand that you need masala to sell papers today. Even I enjoy reading gossip with my morning tea.. as long as it's not about me!

Apparently all's not well between Manyata and you.
I've always had the highest regard for Manyata. She has been a positive influence in Sanjay's life. I respect her for that, he's more at peace today.. he's enjoying domestic life with his nieces and nephews.

If there's no rift, why the ad in the trade magazine announcing that Sanjay Dutt is no longer a part of White Feather Films, and that his name cannot be used for publicity after Dus Kahaniyan?
A private limited company has to abide by certain rules. If a director resigns, it's mandatory to issue a notice in the papers. Irrespective of the ad, Sanju will always be a part of White Feather Films. I'm glad that he's reviving his family banner.

Will you be a part of his company too?
I am what I am because of Sanjay Dutt. If I can contribute in any way to his company, I wouldn't think twice.

<b1>There's been a lot of talk about payments delayed after the release of Shootout at Lokhandwala. This reportedly upset Sanjay Dutt.
Yes, payments were delayed but that's because we didn't receive the money due on time. Once that came through, everyone was paid.

Is money the reason for the split with Balaji Telefilms?
What split? We had announced five films but only two -Shootout… and Woodstock Villa - were in coproduction with Balaji.

White Feather Films has just signed a Rs 260 crore deal with Eros International but even that's not an exclusive. We want to be free to do business with anyone we want. Woodstock Villa is ready but hasn't found any takers.

And Sikander Kher is supposedly bugged.. because he could have made his debut with Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Saawariya.
I didn't cast Sikander in WoodstockVilla to steal a march over Sanjay Bhansali.. but because he's the kind of smart, strapping young man who suits the movies we make.

The film has just been wrapped up and should be out by January-February followed by

The Great Indian Butterfly, Pankh



. We may work on six films simultaneously but the releases have to be staggered.

It seems Sanjay Dutt still has 20 days work left on Alibag.

That's right. We had a schedule from December 1 to 20 because we had expected Sanjay to be out earlier. That had to be scrapped. We don't want to rush him now. Two of his films,



Mr Fraud

, have been in the making for a while. They would be his first priority.


is like a

ghar ka

production. Legally, Sanjay has a clean future for the next four-five years. We're in no hurry. I've just finished a 40-day shoot for


. Even I need time to plan my next schedule.

Chhota Rajan was supposedly unhappy with


… I'd heard that he raised objections to the film before its release because he was afraid facts would be fabricated.

But after seeing it, I believe that he thinks it's an accurate picture.

Will Apoorva Lakhia and you work together again after the war of words during



Such chhota mota jhagdas happen

. I spoke out against Apu in a moment of anger. And I regret it. He's just a kid. I'm happy I could jumpstart his career.

You were upset with Neha Dhupia but she's back in favour too.

I felt Neha wasn't promoting


… There was a communication gap. But things have been sorted out. She's a part of






Dus Kahaniyan

a gamble given that experiments with the short story format have not clicked in Bombay cinema?

A film doesn't work only if it fails to recover its money. Besides being a producer, I'm also a businessman.



is a viable project. It's a reasonably budgeted multiplex film. They are stand-alone stories which translate well on screen but cannot be stretched to the two-hour format.

Apparently, you've been using Gulzar's poems in the

Dus Kahaniyan

album to woo your estranged wife Anu. Is it working?

Please pray for me that it does. I sent Anu the CD in a bouquet. She was left speechless! I love poetry of any kind and I am a Gulzar



You've constantly been linked with your actresses from Sameera Reddy to Masumeh.

Yes, I've been getting a new girlfriend every week. Initially, I'd laugh the rumours off but now I'm tired of these media games.

The tag of DVD director has constantly kept you out of the awards list.

Yeah, I've had the guts to admit that my films are inspired. I suppose others including Abbas Mustan, David Dhawan and even Yash Raj are originals.

The hypocrisy gets worse when a Sanjay Leela Bhansali wins awards for Black that is so obviously The Miracle Worker.