Saregama ropes in Rituparno for three films

MUMBAI: With an aim to make a mark and shine in the world cinema space, Saregama has signed director Rituparno Ghosh to direct three films. The first of the lot is ready and other two will go on floors next year.

Commenting on Ghosh’ association with the company, Saregama chief creative officer B R Sharan says, “Rituparno has a strong equity in the international market. His film The Last Lear, which was screened at the Toronto Film Festival was also well received. We want to take this further and create world class cinema.”

The total budget of these three films put together, is in the range of Rs 150 – 200 million (Rs 15 – 20 crores).

The first will be a Bengali film titled Khella (Game). “Khella is a story of an adult film director and a child who is an actor. It has a slight thriller element to it and is quite different from Ghosh’s works, which generally focus on martial relations,” says Sharan. The film stars Prosenjit Chaterjee in the role of the director, Manisha Koirala as the former’s wife and Raima Sen as the costume designer of the film, who is also in love with Prosenjit.

“The film has been made on a budget of Rs 20 million (Rs 2 crores) and has been shot in the Himalayas and Kolkata. We are looking forward to release it by September end/early October in Begal followed by a release in Mumbai and Delhi,” adds Sharan.

The next film to go on floors will be in Hindi and is tentatively titled Kya Haseen Sitam. “This film stars Shabana Azmi, Naseeruddin Shah, Vidya Balan and Jisshu Sengupta. The film will be made on a budget of Rs 50 million (Rs 5 crores). It will go on floors by February next year and will be shot in Mumbai and Kolkata,” informs Sharan.

Kya Haseen Sitam will bring together Shabana and Naseeruddin after more than 20 years. They were last seen together in Vidhu Vinod Chopra’s Khamosh in 1985.

Ghosh’s magnum opus for which he has been in talks with Bipasha Basu for a long time now, is also a part of this deal. The film may be titled Draupadi, Panchali or Queen Of Epics. “We are aiming at making this movie for the international market and hence it will be made in English. It will be India’s answer to Helen Of Troy and Cleopatra. The film will go on floors by December end and will be made on a budget of Rs 150 million (Rs 15 crores),” says Sharan.

Further if industry sources are to be believed, post The Last Lear Amitabh Bachchan and Ghosh are keen on working together again, though nothing concrete has shaped up on that front. If all goes well, this may well be Ghosh’s fourth film with Saregama.