Big B plans a mega ABCL revival

<a href='//' title='Amitabh Bachchan' class='article_display_tag' data-id='amitabh-bachchan' id='article_tag_data_amitabh-bachchan' style='display: inline-block;'><strong>Amitabh Bachchan</strong></a>Big B seems to be leading AB Corp's revival with elan. The company is positioned to release three films in 2005.

These are Viruddh , Family and Antarmahal . AB Corp is also "close" to finalising its maiden overseas co-production deal with UK's Inspired Movies.
Interestingly, it is panning out and launching its first stage-play in Hindi with Jaya Bachchan in the lead from August-September this year. The play will travel across the country and to most major global destinations.

"Our objective always is to grow as a complete entertainment company and promote the arts and cultural spheres. That reasons our entering into stage productions. We have tied up with the theatre outfit Sanjay Goradia Productions, to unfurl a play in Hindi which is slated to begin showing from around August-September this year," Ramesh Pulapaka, AB Corp's CEO, said.

The "groundwork", he said, is through and rehearsals are tipped to take off shortly. The play is still to be titled, but it's based on a play by Basant Kanitkar. Once unfolded, it will be staged in cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata and Bangalore.

The calendar of the play will be worked out in the next few months. Logistics will also be put in place to tour with the stage-play across various overseas locales. Countries on the map, at the moment, are the US , UK, Canada, Holland, South Africa, Dubai and, possibly, Australia.

"These are the international stopovers we have shortlisted at present. The play is, thematically, meant for Indians living within the country and the diaspora abroad," Pulapaka said.

"On the movie front, the company is very near to finalising a co-production deal with Inspired Movies of the UK. The subject is being examined. It could either be a mainstream Hindi film or an English one. The budget size will be based on the script and storyline. If all goes well, pre-production should start by the year-end and shooting from early 2006," Pulapaka said.

AB Corp will also hit the circuit with three films in 2005. The first to go to town in April will be the Rituparno Ghosh-directed Antarmahal which has been co-produced with Vashu Bhagnani's Puja Films. Next on the platter is the Rs 10-12 crore Viruddh . Viruddh will also see an English version titled Versus which will be distributed abroad.

The company is in talks with Showcase Entertainment and Fries Film Group for the overseas release.

The third film project is Raj Kumar Santoshi's Hindi drama Family which is now being shot at a budget of Rs 18-20 crore. The movie is tipped to open in the domestic theatres in October-November 2005. While still to take final shape, a one-hour, research-based documentary film for Indian and international audiences is also likely to start rolling from July 2005.

"Just like we have produced a Bengali film, Antarmahal, AB Corp is also keen on producing films in languages like Tamil, Telegu, Gujarati and Punjabi. The point is we have to be comfortable from the commercial and creative standpoint," Pulapaka said.

Courtsey: Times News Network