METRO PLUS

Helping build castles in the air

The new faces for Raj Chopra's film ventures at Noida. Photo: Sandeep Saxena.

The new faces for Raj Chopra's film ventures at Noida. Photo: Sandeep Saxena.  

SO, HERE is one cheap way of making films! Raj Chopra, the owner of Competent Productions, better known as the proprietor of multiplex 3C's in New Delhi's Lajpat Nagar, is marking a foray into film production - not with known names but "with names that could make it".

With about 2,000 responses for his advertisement in newspapers for wannabe actors, short listing was not so easy. Chopra brought in actress Sharmila Tagore, director/producer Mahesh Bhatt, director Muzaffar Ali and film critic Gautam Kaul to do the choosing. And, the result is six names - all from Delhi.

At the end of the two-day session to select the right faces, Sharmila says, "We are yet to decide who would play the lead roles. The story demands two heroes and two heroines". The names coming up so far are only six, the lucky ones being Sanjay Singh Sarila, Yuvraj Singh, Rahul Bajaj, Tanuj Suryavanshi, Raj Vasudevan and Manasvi. Chopra informs that the film is likely to be directed by Pooja Bhatt though a date to make the film has not been decided.

"It will be a sweet, romantic film," he says.

Sharmila Tagore and Muzaffar Ali at a press conference in Noida

Sharmila Tagore and Muzaffar Ali at a press conference in Noida  

Though the producer insists that he is offering a stage to those in need of it, the real idea can be called both sweet and shrewd. "With films by big names going down the drain, I do not want to take a big risk with big money and big names. If the kids do a good job, it would be nice for them as well as for me," says the distributor-tuned producer.

Working as distributor for films like "Arth", "Hum Hai Rahi Pyar Ki" and "Jism", Chopra is "ready to experiment with a new idea".

Helping build castles in the air

Not cowed down by media queries as to when even the so-called stalwarts are not being able to give a box office hit, what chance do the newcomers have Muzaffar Ali says, "At least give them a platform. Let's see whether they have it". Sharmila adds, "It is like saying we have one house already then why do we need more?"

And, the six chosen ones, though eager to give a sound bite, were strictly not allowed by the choosers to go ahead. Let's hope they speak well on screen and act too.

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