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Old is gold: Revival time for Bollywood's defunct banners

Exorbitant budgets, corporatisation of the filmmaking process and the rise of new costly stars pushed Bollywood's old production houses into oblivion.

bollywood Updated: Jul 17, 2012 14:32 IST

Exorbitant budgets, corporatisation of the filmmaking process and the rise of new costly stars pushed Bollywood's old production houses into oblivion. But some dormant and some defunct production banners like Shakti Films and d Pramod Films are coming back to life and they are banking on the evergreen genre of love to start afresh.

Director Prateek is reviving his grandfather Pramod Chakraborty's banner Pramod Films with From Sydney With Love, releasing July 27, while Shakti Samantha's Aradhana Films will start a new innings with the release of Yeh Jo Mohabbat Hai Aug 3.

Both are love stories - a genre that can never bore the audience, says director Ashim Samanta, son of late filmmaker Shakti Samanta.

"Emotions don't change, only the presentation of love changes. Love was there 5,000 years back, and love will remain even after 100 years. What changes is the way in which it is shown in each film. Our film Yeh Jo... is on today's line and captures the attitude of youngsters," Ashim told IANS.

He is betting Rs.12 crore on the film that launches his son Aditya as an actor and says his home banner was not in hibernation. It was the industry's changing ways which kept him away.

"We just made fewer films. We made TV serials, and we last made a film (Don Muthuswami) in 2008. It didn't do too well, that's why everyone feels we haven't made anything. We have been actively involved in TV.

"My father didn't want me to do TV. But filmmaking became an exorbitantly risky field, the distribution patterns changed, the corporatisation changed the game, actors started producing their own films, there was hardly space for small films with new faces. Stars charge so much, and they do only one or two films in a year," said the filmmaker.

Meanwhile, Prateek, has set out to revive the family banner and plans to make sensible films.

"We always focus on telling the stories the way it should be told. Our banner has earned goodwill over the period of 50 years and I want to live on those principles and make films that have long-lasting impact and make sense," the 31-year-old director told IANS.

"I want Pramod Films to be an active banner. Now out of sight is out of mind. The film industry has short term memory and it is necessary to remain in action," he added.

Moti Sagar Productions, a part of Ramanand Sagar's banner Sagar Arts, last release was 2007 National Award-winning film 1971, which was directed by Amrit Sagar. After five years, it is set for a revival with fun-filled saga Rabba Main Kya Karoon.

Bollywood's famous studio Bombay Talkies Limited, which is said to have produced 102 feature films since 1934, is also reportedly set to rise from the ashes after lying defunct for 58 years.

Two films - Zakhmi and a yet-untitled film - are said to be in the making under the supervision of Abhay Kumar, grandson of Rajnarayan Dube, the main financier of Bombay Talkies.

The famous Prakash Mehra Productions is also bouncing back thanks to Amit Mehra, son of late filmmaker Prakash Mehra. He is set to produce and direct the remake of his father's "Zanjeer" under the banner.

Raj Kapoor's R.K.Films might soon find a new lease of life courtesy his star grandson Ranbir Kapoor.

"There has been a lot of progress in our plans to revive the RK banner. We have zeroed in on some scripts," Ranbir told IANS.

"The Kapoor family is in the film industry since the past 80 years starting from my great grandfather Prithviraj Kapoor, to me and my cousins (Karisma and Kareena). I hope we continue to contribute to cinema in the same way," he added.

In the meantime, Fardeen Khan is set to be making efforts towards reviving his late father Feroz Khan's banner, FK International and Sunny Deol is resurrecting Vijeta Films with a Ghayal remake.

Will these banners pass the tests and tastes of audiences today? Watch this space!

(Radhika Bhirani can be contacted at

First Published: Jul 17, 2012 12:08 IST