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Mahesh Manjrekar back in action after 4 years!

November 26, 2009 5:17:41 PM IST
Bollywood Trade News Network
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DAR Media Private Limited (DAR Media) today announced its entry into the high octane business of film production by way of a three-film deal with maverick filmmaker Mahesh Manjrekar. The first of these cinematic productions - CITY OF GOLD - is currently in advanced stages of production, with principal shooting expected to be completed by end of December, 2010. This apart, DAR Media is currently in advanced negotiations with at least two other film-makers for projects that will commence in 2010 and 2011.

This new venture follows close on the heels of the Group's recent successful bid (through its subsidiary Entertainment & Sports Direct - ESD) for the theatrical and public venue rights of the next 10 seasons of the Indian Premier League.

With CITY OF GOLD, Manjrekar is wielding the director's baton, in Bollywood, after a gap of more than four years. During this long, voluntary sabbatical Manjrekar kept himself busy with his many acting assignments for films in a range of languages, apart from writing and producing several Marathi blockbusters, including ME SHIVAJIRAJE BHOSALE BOLTOY, arguably the most commercially successful Marathi film till date. "With CITY OF GOLD, I have finally found a subject that has got my creative juices flowing all over again. The film is a no holds barred look at the birth of the true underbelly and organized crime in Mumbai and at those who had to sacrifice their all so that the 21st century Mumbai of swanky malls and glittering multiplexes could be built - the mill workers."

With the screenplay co-written by acclaimed playwright Jayant Pawar and Manjrekar the movie doesn't just tell the story of some of these mill workers whose lives were changed for ever, it actually features some of them in their very first on screen appearances ever. And if set talk is to be believed, the authenticity of some of their performances has blown away even the big stars in the film - who are kept under wraps for now.

When asked for the reason, Manjrekar said, "It's crucial to the vision of this movie that the focus is on the story and not on the star, at least in the initial days. I want to make sure that people understand the sometimes cruel paradox of the lives of these people and why they were compelled to make the choices they made."

He added, "It's only once in a blue moon that you get such a compelling script - and that too based on real life incidents. It was such a great script and concept that I had to get back to direction without delay. I am extremely lucky to have come across the script and extremely fortunate to have found such a supportive backer for the project.'

The backer that Manjrekar was referring to is obviously DAR Media. Commenting on why they chose to get into films, Mr. Arun Rangachari, Chairman, DAR Capital Group, said, "For the past three years or so, DAR Capital Group has been betting long on the Media & Entertainment industry in India, which is reflected in our substantial investments in a handful of companies within this sector. That this sector is poised for an unprecedented growth trajectory is a given, and understandably we want to be well placed to be an integral part of this success story. We firmly believe the single most important driver that will define this growth is going to be superior and distinctive content. Content that differentiates itself by pushing the envelope and creating new creative bench-marks, that has widespread international appeal, not just restricted to the Indian Diaspora, and that takes full advantage of the growing number of innovative and focused content delivery channels that are evolving on a regular basis. All our projects, including the three that we have planned with Mahesh, will meet these exacting criteria."

"In fact our acquisition of the theatrical rights to the IPL, which will mark the first time that the entire season of a major sporting event will be released theatrically, is a clear example of this content strategy that we have embarked upon. In the year 2010, we plan to release at least three films, followed by at least another four each in 2011 and 2012."

DAR's partnership with Manjrekar will extend to three films being directed by him. While CITY OF GOLD will be of the same dramatic complexity and aesthetic appeal of his biggest successes like VAASTAV, the other films will be lighter in tone and will see Manjrekar expand his creative repertoire.

CITY OF GOLD is scheduled to release in May 2010. But of course the couple of months before that will have a DAR property in the multiplexes as well - IPL 2010. The passion that the IPL generates is by now well known to all. CITY OF GOLD promises to deliver exactly that kind of passion and excitement and the wait for its release can not be short enough.


More related news

- Mahesh Manjrekar faces the challenge of playing a Eunuch in RAJJO - News
- Marathi celebs & media come together for Marathi Celebrity Cricket League - News
- Mahesh Manjrekar gets chic look for READY! - News


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