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Rediff.com  » Business » Shapoorji Pallonji to rewrite Mughal-e-Azam

Shapoorji Pallonji to rewrite Mughal-e-Azam

Last updated on: August 06, 2004 09:25 IST
After having immortalised love on the silver screen in the 1960s, construction major and one-time film financiers Shapoorji Pallonji & Co, through its investment arm Sterling Investment Corporation, is set to wow audiences again.

Shapoorji Pallonji has planned to resurrect the greatest love story of all time, Mughal-e-Azam. The Dilip Kumar-Madhubala starrer then cost Rs 1.5 crore (Rs 15 million) and collected Rs 40 lakh (Rs 4 million) in the first week, and is being revived by the third generation Shapoor Pallonji Mistry.

The 40-year old Mistry is said to be investing Rs 5 crore (Rs 50 million) in the restoration, sound effects (Dolby) and transforming the black-and-white opus into colour.

Says Deepesh Salgia, the company's corporate strategist, "This film will be one of the first applications of information technology in Bollywood."

He

claims that the younger Mistry is doing it for sentimental reasons. But film industry experts reveal that it is part of the group's new script -- to re-enter film financing and production. The Mughal-e-Azam effort can well be a launch pad.

This comes at a time when all the big companies are heading for the 70mm screen. They include the Birlas, the UB group, Vijaypat Singhania, Kishore Biyani's Pantaloon group, and even the Pune-based Venkateswara Hatcheries.

Sterling Investment Corporation, with stakes in Forbes Gokak and Tata Sons, the holding company of the Rs 52,000 crore (Rs 520 billion) Tata group, is said to be negotiating with well-known film distributors for another national relaunch.

Its subsequent ventures include Ganga Jamuna starring Dilip Kumar and Vyjayanthimala. One of its films Love &God did not have a theatrical release.

Reeba Zachariah in Mumbai