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    Telebrands makes a ''different'' film with ''Aryan''

    [Interview by Viral Bhayani]
    Thursday, August 19, 2004
    The US-based telemarketing and mail order firm Telebrands makes its entry into the Indian entertainment scene with "Aryan", a film its makers promise is "different and not experimental".

    The film starring Sohail Khan and newcomer Sneha Ullal is being produced by Hiten Israni, who heads Telebrands India, in association with K Factor Entertainment Pvt Ltd.

    The film is also produced by Vipin Anand, who is the brother of music composer Anand Raj Anand.

    The largest telemarketing, mail order and wholesale organization headquartered in the US with operations spanning 52 countries, Telebrands revolutionized the concept of telemarketing in India in 1994 with Telebrands India.

    Telebrands India markets products in over 127 cities in the country and has now ventured into films too.

    "Aryan" also stars Gulshan Grover, Farida Jalal, Satish Shah, Supriya Karnik and Master Ehsaan Chandna and Kapil Dev in a special appearance.

    Telebrands is a name in telemarketing, mail order and merchandising. Why did it need to diversify into filmmaking?

    For the last seven years, we have been closely associated with TV and producing innovative shows. The big screen is just part of our expansion plans.

    Isn't it two different kinds of businesses? How do you intend to manage both fronts simultaneously?

    Absolutely not. Business is business no matter what the end product is. We have our biggest assets in place, our work force. With a dedicated team, anything can be achieved.

    With all the financial resources and some infrastructure at your disposal, why do you need an association when you could have easily hired professionals to design and execute the production of your film?

    We had offers of producing films. It was on our agenda of diversification only the time was not decided. K-Factor productions along with Abhishek Kapoor presented an excellent project to us. We evaluated the opportunities of the project and decided to take the plunge.

    Unlike the corporate sector, the Hindi film industry is mismanaged. How do you plan to cope?

    We have taken stern measures. We are not working on the standard industry lines. We intend to manage this production as professionally as we can. We do come across a set of people who have been associated with the industry for long, they are the difficult ones to change, but we are managing well so far. As stated earlier, we have a team of managers and associates who are dedicatedly handling this project.

    Except for being Anand Raaj Anand and Harry Anand's brother, co-producer Vipin Anand as well as director Abhishek Kapoor are beginners. Isn't it a risky proposal to begin with?

    Both these young men come from prominent film families and understand the nature of the business they are in. They have their heads firmly on their shoulders and minds fixed on their target. Besides, we think the fact that they are young and raring to go is a huge advantage as they have a stronger sense of what the young audiences of today want.

    What is your debut film "Aryan" all about?

    It is a story of an aspiring sportsman, his dreams, failures, and ambitions. In his journey of life he is accompanied by his young wife and child. It is about how they influence the course of his destiny. In short, it is a love story with a punch.

    How relevant is the title to the film?

    Aryan is the protagonist of the film. All characters revolve around him. Hence the title.

    Is Sohail Khan an apt choice for the title role?

    Sohail Khan has a lot of depth and intensity, which comes across beautifully in our character in the film. He suits the character of the film like no on else can. Besides, the chemistry between Sneha and Sohail will be interesting to watch.

    Experimental films are being appreciated only at multiplex theatres. But the majority of the Indian audience still lives in the smaller cities with large single theatres that need to be filled. Your views?

    You are absolutely right. During the past few years, people have been catering to multiplex audiences and have ignored the masses. One still needs to work very hard on the content of a film. With "Aryan" we intend to make a different film and not an experimental film.

    We believe making a movie is like having a conversation with the audience. A good commercial film is one in which you tell the audience what they want to hear and at the same time tell them what we want to convey. Once this conversation is successful, we believe you have a good film on hand.

    Very often, unconventional films are derided for being pretentious, or over ambitious or both. Comment.

    We are not making a film on a sporting backdrop just for the sake of being different. It is an integral part of the emotional content of the film. We will be honest to the script without stooping to any kind of jingoism.

    Is it a message oriented film?

    Most definitely so. The film is about dreams and following your dreams to the best of your ability, irrespective of the fact whether you win or loose. The moral is to give it your best shot, that's the most important thing.


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