"My films will always be about family values" - Sooraj Barjatya
As he ventures into making television soaps and even creating content for mobile phones and personal computers, filmmaker Sooraj Barjatya says he will always keep his production house firm on advocating what he calls "good Indian family values".
"Good family values are the core of everything we do," the soft-spoken, gentle mannered filmmaker of blockbusters like Hum Aapke Hain Kaun and Maine Pyar Kiya from his house of Rajshri Productions said.
"My grandfather created the image of our company from the image of goddess Saraswati and we always want to keep to those values," said Barjatya, whose company has entered television serial making with Sahara One's new soap Woh Rehnewaali Mahlon Ki.
The serial is about a rich girl married into a poor family and how she learns, through her struggles, the value of family ties and becomes a true woman of substance.
"We had been thinking of entering television for some time now, but we wanted my sister Kavita to be ready to handle everything herself; now that has happened."
Barjatya, whose last film Main Prem Ki Diwani Hoon didn't do too well, said he wanted to put a distinctive Rajshri stamp to the serial.
"Of late, there has been a lot of negativity in television. I especially want kids to see that there are good people around too. I don't want them to think that the world is just full of crooks and negative people.
"We want to project goodness; that is very important for us."
With all this focus on "goodness" and "Indian values", Barjatya is essentially going back to his much-loved themes and audience.
He had moved away a little with Main Prem Ki Diwani Hoon which was the first Barjatya film to be shot abroad and with a lot of modern effects including animation.
"Main Prem Ki Deewani Hoon was an attempt to make a film for a younger generation. Through it I realised that that's not what the typical Rajshri audience wants," said Barjatya, whose favourite film is Sound of Music and who likes the works of Indian directors like Mani Ratnam and the legendary Raj Kapoor.
Barjatya also said he wasn't looking at audiences abroad to rope in revenues for his next film. "I don't think in terms of a foreign audience. We have a big enough audience at home and we make films for them.
"What is important is to make a film that is true to your sensibilities."
Barjatya is also looking to promote younger directors who will make films under the Rajshri banner.
"The life span of films has become shorter, so one needs many more products. We are looking to promote young filmmakers who will make these films. Our only criterion is that they should keep the essential Rajshri values."
In the mobile phone and PC market Barjatya has begun by offering songs and clips from his movies. "We see great potential - a plethora of new mediums are becoming available to filmmakers."