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Imtiaz Ali: No one has offered me 10 crore yet

August 7, 2009 2:17:06 PM IST
Joginder Tuteja, Bollywood Trade News Network
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First week collections have made it crystal clear that LOVE AAJ KAL is en route to be a massive money spinner. As per the makers, the film has taken the second highest weekend opening ever, next only to GHAJINI, which immediately puts its director Imtiaz Ali in big league. However, big money is still evading him as he jokes that he is yet to be 'Rs. 10 crore worth director'!

"Arrey nahi, koi mai ka laal itna paisa leke mere paas nahi aaya abhi tak! No one has approached me with a 10 crore offer yet. I am still awaiting such price tag attached to my name", laughs Imtiaz when questioned if he has entered into the 10 crore league. After all respected film makers like Anees Bazmee, Priyadarshan and David Dhawan are known for being star-directors themselves, especially with mega crores being offered to them.


Imtiaz had a jerky beginning to his Bollywood career with SOCHA NA THA [Abhay Deol, Ayesha Takia] taking years to reach the finish line. The film was a critical success and though it didn't work at the box office, it has continued to be a hot favorite on satellite and DVD circuits.

His next film JAB WE MET [Shahid Kapoor, Kareena Kapoor] took some time to kick off but when it released, it won hearts all over. However, LOVE AAJ KAL [Saif Ali Khan, Deepika Padukone] has been Imtiaz's entry into the big league with critical as well as commercial acclaim coming his way. In its first 3 days, the film has made close to the kind of money that JAB WE MET made in its entire lifetime.

"And to think about it, what is being considered cult today didn't really enjoy such high critical response when it released", reflects Imtiaz on JAB WE MET that had released just a few days before OM SHANTI OM in 2007, "Most of the reviews had a 2 or 2.5 stars rating. It is so amusing when the same critics today remember the film as cult, memorable, path breaking, defining cinema etc. etc."

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Coming back to his price tag, how does Imtiaz wish to play his cards from this point on?

"See, there are different kinds of prepositions that different film makers consider. Some make multiple movies a year while my sensibilities don't allow me to work on more than one project at a time. My journey would most likely have mean directing one film every two years. This by itself has a bearing on the entire economics", he starts talking business here.

So how exactly is the 'business model' going to work for him?

"I don't want to unnecessarily charge a producer the kind of money that would be unaffordable for him and hence make the entire business prospects unviable", he reasons, "I am now primarily looking at a combined model where I get some amount of money as my price while rest comes as profits from the film."


He is looking at being further flexible when it comes to smaller films. "If at all a subject is of the kind that requires to be made on a small budget, I would have profit sharing as my prime mode of reimbursement."

In the current market scenario where instant money is the need of the situation, why is he looking at treading a different path?

"Yes, money is important but that has never been my driving factor for making a film. If that was the case I would have chosen to do multiple films a year. My passion is cinema; money will follow", concludes Imtiaz as he steps into yet another public screening of LOVE AAJ KAL.


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