Vikram Bhatt pens Rs 1 billion JV with ASA

MUMBAI: Director Vikram Bhatt and ASA (a corporate dealing in steel and safety match industry) have inked a Rs 1 billion (Rs 100 crores) joint venture. Together ASA and Bhatt will create and produce concept oriented feature films under the newly formed venture company, ASA Films.


The venture will involve an investment of Rs 1 billion to produce films that will rope in all new talents and make “concept oriented meaningful cinema.”


ASA will provide its management expertise in operating the joint venture company besides utilizing the JV company to line produce its feature film productions. Bhatt will be creatively involved in the JV and will execute the production of the films. These films will be directed either by Bhatt or other directors like Deepak Tijori, Manoj Tyagi or Girish Dhamija, who have also been roped in.


The first film to go on floors is titled Mumbai Salsa. The shooting for this film will commence on 21 May. The film starts new comers. Says Bhatt, “I am delighted to share my experience with ASA and am confident that this venture will create path breaking cinema. Mumbai Salsa is nice metro concept. It is not a B or C centre, small town or small village concept. You don’t necessarily require big stars to make a film, it is the idea that is big.”


ASA managing director Surendra Sharma adds, “Bhatt’s style of film making stands testimony to the fact that his brand of cinema epitomizes the reality of an average India’s life. ASA is proud to share part of our destiny with Vikram Bhatt.”


Under the banner of ASA Films, plans are to venture into the distribution and multiplex business as well. “The idea is to be a one stop shop and be able to market your own films and music,” Bhatt adds. Currently the writing, marketing and managerial teams are being set up.


Bhatt’s involvement includes creative undertaking, looking into scripts, casting and marketing. But since most of his recent films have bombed at the box office, is the task at hand that much more difficult? “As long as you have ideas along with the will and spirit, I don’t think that success or failure of a certain film matters. When I started my career my first four-five films bombed, followed by a phase when I had successful films,” he justifies.


When queried as to why he chose to go the joint venture way, he says, “I don’t think it is possible for any film producer, without the help of a corporate backing to be bale to set this up. If I was singularly doing Mumbai Salsa I would be trying to raise money for the film.”


The films that will be made under the banner of ASA Films are not going to be targeted at the multiplex audience only. “It is going to be extremely script based. We might just make a horror film, which will have excellent potential in smaller centres. These high concept films do not work with the overseas audience, because they are still looking for films with Indian values and dance,” he adds.

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