Bollywood bigwigs campaign against piracy

By Viral Bhayani, IANS
8/17/2004 12:00:00 AM
A glittering event here had stars and filmmakers making an earnest appeal against piracy and discussing ways to create public awareness about the crisis facing the industry.  

The Cinema People's Academy (CPA) launched its first initiative in association with Sahara Manoranjan to educate the public about film piracy in a star-studded extravaganza that combined entertainment with some sermonising.

There were the regular dance performances by Amisha Patel and Yana Gupta. But it was Salman Khan who rocked at the Kambakht Piracy gig. After his performance, host Rakshanda Khan requested him to say few words on piracy.

Breathless after his act, Salman made an impassioned case for not watching pirated films on DVDs and VCDs. Unlike most clich?d speeches on the topic, Salman focussed on how films were pirated.

He said films were pirated when they were sent for processing, much before they were released. "Just to check the quality of these movies, I bought five pirated VCDs of my own movies and the quality was really bad. The picture and sound was worse."

He added jocularly: "If you come across people who are pirating movies then you can call me and we will fix them! These days even my mobile number has been pirated. There is a kid who has been pirating my number for Rs. 25,000 and then I get calls from kids asking 'is this Salman Uncle' late in the night."

Others who spoke on the urgent need to curb piracy were Manmohan Shetty, Subhash Ghai, Sooraj Barjatya, Asha Parekh, Pahlaj Nihalani and Smita Thackeray. Interestingly, Manmohan Shetty declared that the show should have been shown on more channels as Sahara Manoranjan has poor viewership.

"Masti" team Vivek Oberoi and Aaftab Shivdasani, too, shared their thoughts on the subject.

Govinda was pulled on the stage and was asked to do another number by Smita Thackeray when he returned to his seat.

One of the highlights of the show was the stand up comic Vikram Sathaye who evoked much laughter for his jokes and mimic act on cricket, politics and Bollywood. He was fresh, unique and far more impressive than Shekhar Suman and Sajid Khan who regurgitated their stale Telgi jokes.

Jaspal Bhatti was also there and impressed the audience with his wit.

Shahrukh Khan was supposed to perform but was held up in traffic and could not make it to the show.