Posts tagged Ramesh Sippy
BOMBAY TIMES (May 4, 2013)
In 1951, the Hollywood Moghul David Selznick was strolling through an empty, ghostly movie studio when he was struck by an uncomfortable thought. The maker of such giant classics like Gone With The Wind was in heavy debt. Television was beginning to be a threat to the movie business. Pointing to the empty stages, he said to his writer friend Ben Hecht ‘Hollywood is like Egypt… full of crumbled pyramids. It will just keep crumbling until finally the wind blows the last studio props across the sands.’
Thankfully, Selznick’s prophecy did not come true. The global movie business today is a multi-billion dollar industry. No wonder then that India, the film family’s most hyperactive child, is celebrating its 100th birthday party this year.
If I was given the chance to invite filmmakers for this bash, who would be on my list? Undoubtedly, the first person would be Dhundiraj Govind Phalke (Dadasaheb Phalke), who is the Brahma of Indian Cinema and whose 40-minute film Raja Harishchandra set the cinematic ball rolling in India. It was this brave son of India who understood that it is mythology that motivates cultures, not reason, race, or ideology. Next to him would sit Satyajit Ray, the only genuine auteur Indian cinema has ever had. Ray not only wrote his scripts and dialogues and songs, but also designed the sets, costumes, posters, operated the camera, edited the film and composed the music. He is the only Indian who has got a lifetime award at the More >
It’s a term of endearment, says Ramesh Sippy, in a heated panel discussion about the use of cuss words in movies
Jyothi Prabhakar (BOMBAY TIMES; April 30, 2013)
This was a panel discussion on the use of cuss words in Indian cinema, at the ongoing Centenary Film Festival in Delhi. It was an open house, and as Vishal Bhardwaj and Ramesh Sippy took the stage, along with K Natarajan (South filmmaker) and CBFC CEO Pankaja Thakur, one lady in the audience immediately took Vishal to task for introducing kids to words like kameena. She also wanted to know what the term ‘ishq kameena’ means.
Vishal took a moment to react, but not Ramesh Sippy. Taking the mic off Vishal’s hands, he said, “It is a term of endearment. It is not a gaali. Haven’t you heard ‘har ek dost kameena hota hai’? Does it mean you are abusing your friends? That word here is to bring out the naughtiness, of friendship and love.” When someone in the audience objected, Vishal interjected, “Abey tu Dilli se hai? Dilli mein toh baap bhi apne bete ko yehi kehta hai, ‘Abey kameenay, idhar aa’.” Vishal also revealed how the then chairperson of the CBFC had a big issue with the title of the film, Kaminey. She kept asking me what sort of title is this. And then, I was asked to change the name of one place uttered in the film: Pilibhit. I asked why? And I was told, because it is a very sensitive constituency of Varun Gandhi, so the protagonist cannot be coming from there. Finally, I had to change it to Ramnagar or More >
Priya Gupta (BOMBAY TIMES; April 13, 2013)
Rohan Sippy, 42, is a product of one of Bollywood’s most respected families. Grandson of GP Sippy and son of Ramesh Sippy, he has been through his parents’ divorce and his own and knows the golden rule from his father that nobody knows anything. He is excited about working with two newcomers in his latest release Nataunki Saala and talks to Bombay Times about the reducing power of the producer, why a Sholay cannot be made today and why directors are inherently fascists. Excerpts:
Let’s talk about your family? I was born and brought up in Mumbai and was a South Mumbai kid studying at Cathedral. I went to Aiglon College, a boarding in Switzerland, after my tenth, after which I graduated in Philosophy from Stanford. I think I took up Philosophy so that I could say a ‘why’ to everything. We lived with our grandfather GP Sippy till I was 10, after which we moved into my mother’s house at Walkeshwar. I was in my teens when my parents divorced and that was one of the reasons my mum was keen I go to boarding school. Since my dad moved out of my mother’s house, I lived with my mum and landed up, therefore, spending more time with her. Both my parents remarried soon after I went to the boarding school. Even though my father Ramesh Sippy was a filmmaker and my mother was connected to the film industry, she was keen for me to complete my studies and did not want me to get into films.
As a child, were you affected emotionally by your More >
Vickey Lalwani (MUMBAI MIRROR; April 10, 2013)
On March 29, Mirror had reported that the I&B Ministry had called for a meeting with film producers and the Censor Board of Film Certification (CBFC) between April 3 and April 5 to set the pace for necessary amendments to the Cinematograph Act 1952.
We can now tell you that the meeting which took place as scheduled had the Ministry put forth the proposal of categorising Indian films in a manner different to what has been hitherto followed. Which means if the Ministry has its way, films will no longer be certified as U, U/A, A. Instead, they will fall under any one of the following categories: Above 12 years of age (Under Parental Guidance), Above 15 years of age (Under Parental Guidance) or Above 18 years of age.
Among those present were Ritesh Sidhwani, Ramesh Sippy, President of the Producers’ Guild Mukesh Bhatt, President of the Association of Motion Pictures and TV Programme Producers (AMTPP) Sajid Nadiadwala, Indian Motion Picture Producers’ Association Chief TP Agarwal, CBFC Chief Leela Samson, CBFC CEO Pankaja Thakur, and senior members of the special panel instituted under the chairmanship of judicial expert Mukul Mudgal to review the functioning of the Board.
Filmmakers are not too happy with the proposal as they feel it will deflate their audience. CEO of the Film & Television Producers Guild of India, Kulmeet Makkar, said: “Yes, there is a proposal by the I&B Ministry but it would be very subjective in a country More >
Vickey Lalwani (MUMBAI MIRROR; March 29, 2013)
At a time when Hindi films have come under criticism for disrespectful portrayal of women, and Censor Board decisions are increasingly being viewed as arbitrary, the Information & Broadcasting Ministry has stepped in to broker peace between the warring parties – the producers and the Board. The bone of contention being the Cinematograph Act 1952 that the film industry thinks is outdated. The I&B Ministry has called for a meeting with all parties concerned between April 3 and April 5, though the venue hasn’t been decided yet. Representing the film industry will be Farhan Akhtar, Ramesh Sippy, President of the Producers’ Guild Mukesh Bhatt, President of the Association of Motion Pictures and TV Programme Producers (AMTPP) Sajid Nadiadwala and Indian Motion Picture Producers’ Association Chief TP Aggarwal. Censor Board of Film Certification (CBFC) Chief Leela Samson and CBFC CEO Pankaja Thakur will represent the censors. Also present will be senior members from the special panel that was instituted under the chairmanship of judicial expert Mukul Mudgal to review the functioning of the Censor Board.
The meeting will set the pace for the necessary amendments to the Cinematograph Act 1952, after taking into consideration suggestions by all concerned. Special song and dance numbers, foul language, and scenes portraying actors and actresses smoking and drinking are likely to be discussed during the meet.
Aggarwal confirmed the More >
Jigar Shah (MID-DAY; March 11, 2013)
It’s almost impossible to not know who Steven Spielberg is. And for some lucky Indian directors, the dream of meeting and knowing him better is about to come true. Turns out the celebrated Hollywood filmmaker will be interacting with about 60 personalities from Indian cinema and share tips on filmmaking.
Spielberg, who is known for films like Schindler’s List, Saving Private Ryan, ET, Jaws and Jurassic Park, is making his maiden trip to India. This development is a direct result of his association with Anil Ambani. The industrialist’s entertainment production house has a tie-up with the American’s film studio. In fact they both produced the much-acclaimed Lincoln, amongst other films. Fittingly enough, a special party in his honour has been organised on the March 12 where Spielberg shall be meeting the who’s who of Indian film industry.
What’s more interesting about this event is that Spielberg would be having an interactive session with a room full of directors from the country who have already confirmed their presence. A well-placed source says, “It can easily be called as master class session wherein Steven Spielberg will be imparting knowledge to Indian directors and would be learning from them as well and the list includes the biggest of names like Rajkumar Hirani, Anurag Kashyap, Farhan Akhtar, Zoya Akhtar, Abhishek Kapoor, Habib Faisal, Ram Gopal Varma, Sanjay Leela Bhansali, Farah Khan to name a few.”
And the invitation goes More >
Sandeep Ashar | TNN (THE TIMES OF INDIA; January 24, 2013)
Mumbai: The state government has done a U-turn on its plan to hike entertainment duty for multiplexes that charge higher ticket prices. A week after it approved a proposal to link the collection of the levy to ticket rates, the state cabinet withdrew it on Wednesday.
Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan later said the proposal was withdrawn as the existing rate of levy was already high. He further said it was felt that the additional duty proposed would have made it unviable for multiplexes, which are already suffering a drop in volumes.
The government has, however, retained a proposal permitting multiplexes to levy addtional surcharge on ticket fares towards modernization. State officials said that this would be passed on to audiences.
Multiplexes currently pay the state 45% duty on sale volumes. Citing the tendency of multiplexes to hike ticket prices for movies that get a good response, the state revenue department had earlier proposed an overhaul of the system for computation of the levy. While retaining the same rate of levy for multiplexes, which price tickets at Rs 250 or less, it had proposed 10%-20% additional levy for those priced higher. Theatre owners would have had to pay 10% extra for shows with ticket prices ranging from Rs 251toRs 350,15% for prices from Rs 351 to Rs 500, and 20% for those priced even higher.
The state collects over Rs 100 crore in entertainment duty from multiplexes. While the More >
Kamal Haasan has pushed back release plans for his film by at least six weeks
Vickey Lalwani (MUMBAI MIRROR; January 17, 2013)
Following stiff resistance to his decision to premiere Vishwaroopam on DTH a day before its theatrical release, Kamal Haasan had shifted the film’s release from January 11 to January 25. We’ve now learnt that while it will hit theatres down south on the appointed date, the Hindi version will release on Feb 1. And it doesn’t end there. The actor-filmmaker’s DTH plans have gone awry, what with the DTH release pushed back to at least six weeks after the Hindi version hits theatres.
Apparently, Kamal’s latest stance had much to do with the fact that he wanted a wider release befitting his project, which has been mounted on such a grand scale. A source close to the film told Mirror, “If he hadn’t pushed back the DTH release, his film wouldn’t have been accepted by all the national multiplexes.”
In an email sent by Kamal yesterday morning to Ramesh Sippy of Balaji Motion Pictures – Vishwaroopam’s all-India distributor, the actor-filmmaker explained the reason behind his decision. He informed Sippy that while he had originally planned the DTH release a day after the theatrical release, that wasn’t acceptable even to the smaller city multiplexes. So he decided to shift the DTH release by a week to get their support. But at that point, he was advised to push back the DTH release by at least six weeks after the film hit theatres, to get acceptance by the More >
Following Bal Thackeray’s demise, theatres cancelled shows adding to the losses
Vickey Lalwani & Subhash K Jha (MUMBAI MIRROR; November 19, 2012)
They had been engrossed in media warfare to ensure maximum eyeballs for their respective Diwali release. But little did Shah Rukh Khan and Ajay Devgn know what destiny had in store.
Despite releasing on a Tuesday, the beginning of a long festive week, Jab Tak Hai Jaan and Son Of Sardaar did not really get off to a flying start. The very next day, the films were dealt a blow after news of Shiv Sena Supremo Balasaheb Thackeray’s critical health started filtering out of his Bandra East residence, Matoshree. When he passed away on Saturday afternoon, the city came to a standstill with theatres pulling down the shutters. The Diwali releases had approximately lost out on a net collection of Rs 16 crore by then.
Reportedly, theatres in Mumbai and other towns in Maharashtra – Pune, Nasik, Solapur, Sangli, Kolhapur, Satara, Nagpur, Amravati, Akola and Jalgaon cancelled movie shows adding to the films’ losses.
Over the weekend (Saturday and Sunday) the loss ratio for JTHJ and SOS was estimated to be 7:9. In fact, according to leading distributor Ramesh Sippy the two films put together have lost out on Rs 12 crore.
This was further endorsed by trade expert Taran Adarsh. However, another leading distributor Devendra Shah said, “I think Rs 12 crore is an understatement. The two films must have easily suffered to the tune of Rs 16-18 More >
Vickey Lalwani (MUMBAI MIRROR; November 17, 2012)
A new dramatic chapter has been added to one of our most iconic films. Thirtyseven years after it was released, Sholay is mired in controversy over its 3D version. Ramesh Sippy, one of the warring Sippy family members, has moved court over the rights of the film, jeopardising the fate of its hi-tech avatar, being created by G P Sippy’s grandson Sasha with Jayantilal Gada.
“I never relinquished my rights of Sholay,” said Sippy. When contacted, Sasha said: “The matter is subjudice. Gada and I have done no wrong. We had a hearing today but Ramesh Sippy did not get an injunction on the film. The case has been deferred to a later date.”
When probed further, Sasha said, “Three months before the release of Sholay in 1975, Ramesh Sippy resigned as a partner of Sippy Films. After that he was involved only as a film director and not at the corporate level.”
According to Sasha, in 1989 his grandfather G P Sippy and Ramesh signed on an agreement that gave him a certain share in the family’s movie business. Till 1997 Sippy Films paid for Ramesh’s bills but with the declining fortunes of the company, that stopped. “In return my dad Vijay Sippy, who managed the company for 35 years, gave him the rights to air Buniyaad on national television. The channel even gave him a slot for a sequel, which he never made,” says Sasha.
After Vijay passed away in 1998, Shaan, who is G P Sippy’s daughter Sunita’s son, joined Sasha, completing the More >