Vijaypat Singhania On Film Path

Mumbai, Sept 19: | Updated: Sep 20 2003, 05:30am hrs
The Hindi film production industry is clearly Booming. The latest one to get onto the film production bandwagon is Raymond Ltd chairman emeritus Vijaypat Singhania, who is making a foray into the entertainment industry with the production of two Hindi films.

Film production could well turn out to be Mr Singhanias second passion, after flying. Industry sources said that Mr Singhanias first movie in Bollywood is slated to be released by the end of this year. The sources added that Woh Tera Naam Tha is in the final stages of production and is expected to be released by the end of this year. The film is being produced under the umbrella of Radha Krshna Films and revolves around the story of a Hindustani classical artist. The film has a new cast most of them first timers like Arjan Bajwa, Kanchi Kaul, Gaurav Chanana and Shalini Pal. The film also stars Amrish Puri.

However, not much is known about the second film which is believed to be in the conceptual stage. A detailed query to Mr Singhania did not elicit any response.

According to sources, both are small budget films. While company officials refused to divulge details of the budget of the films, sources said that about Rs 8 crore would be spent on both the movies.

The investment for the movies would be made through Raymond Ltd group company, JK Tyres. None of the other group companies or subsidiaries of Raymond Ltd are involved in this new venture at present.

JK Tyres is into making tyres and the company made a pioneering effort last year by launching environment-friendly tyres, made from silica-based tread compounds last year. The tyres also offer higher durability as compared to normal radials and offer better resistance against cuts due to its superior compounding technology.

Industrial Development Bank of India (IDBI) is also taking active participation in financing films. In fact, the bank has changed its pattern of film financing by doing away with profit sharing or overflow, and the completion bond guarantee.

IDBI has already put in about Rs 30 crore given the prevailing market scenario with the producers and distributors up in arms.

In the current financial year, IDBI is yet to give sanction to any new proposal though there are about six movies that are lined up for release including Ramesh Sippys Kuch Na Kaho and Harry Bawejas next movie. One movie by the Bajaj brothers has been cleared in February. Vishal Bhardwajs Miye Maqbool is one of the new proposals whose final sanction is yet to be passed and there are about five projects in the pipeline.

Tata Infomedia had marked an early entry into films with its first movie Aitbaar slated to hit the market in the first quarter next year. Aitbaar, produced along with Jatin Kumar stars Amitabh Bachchan, John Abraham and Bipasha Basu in the lead. It is directed by Vikram Bhatt. Tata Infomedia, in which the Tata groups stake was recently acquired by ICICI Venture, is working on two more projects and has a target of producing three to four quality films a year.