The annual London Indian Film Festival ended on Thursday 25 July with the UK premiere of the multi-directed film Bombay Talkies. Directed by Karan Johar, Dibikar Bannerjee, Anurag Kashyap and Zoya Akhtar, the film pays homage to100 years of Indian Cinema, which also features some gripping and heart-touching stories in the midst of it. A number of special guests were present on closing night, which included Ashi Dua (producer of Bombay Talkies), legendary Bollywood villain Gulshan Grover, Sunny and Shay, Raj & Pablo, Asad Shan, Monsoon Shootout director Amit Kumar, Lucia director Pawan Kumar and many more. Following the screening Ashi Dua took part in a special discussion and Q&A with the audience, which was hosted by Raj & Pablo.
During the discussion, Ashi admitted that she was afraid of approaching Karan Johar for the project. “I was very scared to approach Karan because I didn’t think that he would agree to do something like this. He’s used to making big films on big budgets and doing different kinds of cinema. So I nervous to approach him but when he agreed to come on board, it was very encouraging.”
Ashi was asked by Raj &Pablo how Bombay Talkies came into fruition and gave this answer. “It was very hard. Even though the scale of the film is not so big, it took so long to make because of getting the filmmakers to agree to do something like this and fix their dates. It took a lot of patience but it was worth it.”
During the Q&A session, Ashi was asked where she thinks Indian Cinema will travel in the next 100 years. She gave the following response: “I really wish that people from the film industry were not just the ones getting opportunities. The film industry should open up to every talented person and not just be centred on people who are born in the film families. So that’s what we really hope for from the film industry and obviously I hope that content becomes a main factor in all our films from now on for the next 100 years.”
In addition, Ashi was asked why she thinks that during the centenary year; Bengali films have not been acknowledged (which indeed forms a part of Indian Cinema). She had this to say: “I tried to make this film (Bombay Talkies) in other languages too such as Tamil, Marathi and Bengali, but I only just got financiers for a Hindi film. I really tried to make a Tamil version, a Bengali version, a Marathi version but it just was not possible to get that kind of finance to make them.” “Audiences end up accepting Hindi films more so we can’t really help it.”
Overall, the night was a huge success and that was apparent by the fact that the screening of Bombay Talkies was completely sold out! Check out the cool pics that we captured on the night!