Los Angeles based Film Producer, Dileep Singh Rathore was born and raised in Rajasthan and accidentally stumbled into the world of film productions.
Rathore explains, "While I was a motor cross rider in Jaipur I never thought I would end up in the film business. I saw the production of The Far Pavilions because of a cousin of mine who was working on the project. I was fascinated by the whole filmmaking process and decided this was what I wanted to do."
Next he founded a production services company in India servicing the South East Asian region and spent the last 13 years producing international productions being filmed in India as well as Russia such as City of Joy, Queenie, Deceivers, Flames in Paradise and Ajooba.
Rathore adds, "During this time I met Shashi Kapoor on the sets of Deceivers starring Pierce Brosnan. Kapoor is like a mentor to me and was instrumental in me moving to Mumbai." He worked in commercials with adfilm director, Kunal Kapoor as well as various international productions that came down to India. Rathore has also worked with John Boorman and Roland Joffe. In 2000, Dileep teamed with producer Emmanuel Pappas and director Digvijay Singh to form Kundalini Pictures and produced Maya.
The film was critically acclaimed at international festivals such as Rotterdam, Flanders and Montreal. Rathore is now working in Hollywood to promote India as a filming location.
"It is our mission to keep working with Hollywood studios and independent producers to convince them about the enormous advantages that India offers. Unlike IT, film production has been as old as anywhere else in the world. So we have the technical and creative depth to emerge as a serious rival to Hollywood."
Rathore's company specialises in line production, which entails every single requirement of a movie shoot.
This year at the American Film Market, Rathore along with ARRI Film and TV organised a seminar on "India: The New Frontier for International Productions". The seminar highlighted issues like the pros and cons of shooting in India.
The seminar was moderated by Mike Goodridge, editor of Screen International and also included Dileep Rathore, Patrick Crowley, producer of The Bourne Identity and Thomas Nickel of ARRI Film and TV. Several new facts emerged. Under the new dispensation, film scripts are approved within three weeks by the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting.
The Indian government has also relaxed the requirement of screening all movies shot in the country at Indian diplomatic missions. Unlike earlier, when the producer had to bear the cost of an Indian liaison officer to be present at such screenings, it will now be borne by the Indian government.
Eight new Hollywood films have either been made or are being made in India including Looking For Comedy In The Muslim World, Scrolls, The Namesake, Partition and Exclusion. These movies straddle a diverse variety of themes and locations.
Rathore has now set his eyes on films that will be grand epics and others that are small and personal but always doing good work. Rathore
has announced plans to make his next feature film, Opium Royale set in India about a Maharaja who refuses to join the Indian union in 1947.