Hollywood Amritraj eager for 2nd Hindi film

PTI, PANAJI | 30 November 2012 10:08 IST

Having produced over a 100 Hollywood films but only one Indian project in his career spanning three decades, Indian American filmmaker Ashok Amritraj feels it is high time he takes up another Hindi film.

Amritraj`s only production in his native country was 1998 Tamil romantic drama `Jeans`, starring Aishwarya Rai, Prashanth and Nassar in lead roles. The film was also dubbed in Hindi and Telugu.

"I am waiting for a screenwriter to bring me a script which I cannot put down. I am yet to find a great original idea and once that happens I will definitely do a Hindi movie. I want to encourage writers to come to me and my staff with a script. It is time I do one Hindi movie now," Amritraj told reporters.

His list of Hollywood work includes movies like ‘Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance’, ‘Killer’, ‘Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li’, ‘The Other End of the Line’, ‘Premonition’, ‘Double Impact’ and ‘Eyewitness to Murder’.

Amritraj will be attending the 43rd International film festival of India here, where a tribute is being paid to his work. He was earlier supposed to spend two days at the fest but due to his father`s ill health he will be coming in for a day only.

The former tennis player said the coincidence between the celebration of 100 years of Indian Cinema and his completing 100 Hollywood films the same year is an honour.

"It is terrific to be a part of the festival which is celebrating 100 years of cinema and I have just completed my 100th film in Hollywood. I am honoured that a tribute is being paid to me in my home country. I thank the Government of India for this honour and respect," he added. 

Amritraj is the chairman and CEO of Hyde Park Entertainment, which is also planning to open a branch in India.

He feels Indian cinema is evolving and it needs to channel its way on to the West and explore a lot more territories.

"Festivals are such a great platform to show your film to different markets. Indian cinema is at an interesting place today, it is evolving. Audience is younger and are ready to accept the films. They have different tastes and want to see different cinema."

But the producer feels it is time the divide between festival films and commercial movies is diminished like it is in Hollywood.

"What needs to be changed is the divide between festival films, art house movies and commercial films. I hope the stars here work in every kind of film like in Hollywood, a Brad Pitt or George Clooney don`t mind working in small budget films. Also the directors and producers don`t stick to big budget movies only."

Amritraj also said that Indian filmmakers need to look at scripts more globally now so that it reaches a wider audience.

"It is ironic how Ang Lee does a `Life of Pi` which is based on an Indian theme, shot in India whereas our producers and directors don`t think of it. And this has been happening for a while now; we had `Slumdog Millionaire` also which had India as a theme. I think Indian producers and directors need to look at ideas and scripts more globally now." 

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