The shocking death of liquor baron and film distributor Ponty Chadha has come as a massive blow to the Hindi film industry.
Chadha, who was killed in a freak shootout at his farmhouse near New Delhi on November 17, had produced hit films like Sunny Deol-starrer Gadar: Ek Prem Katha and Salman Khan-starrer Ready.
The businessman from Uttar Pradesh had worked closely with several Bollywood filmmakers. At least six prominent filmmakers were in talks with Chadha over big-budget projects, which may now seek financial assistance elsewhere.
If reports are to be believed, financier Bharat Shah was the last person to have spoken to Ponty Chadha regarding a film deal. Shah has major financial stakes in director Anand Kumar's Sanjay Dutt-Arshad Warsi-Vivek Oberoi starrer, Zilla Ghazibad. He was supposed to fly to New Delhi on the day the shootout happened to screen the film for Chadha. The late businessman had shown keen interest in distributing the film.
Chaddha was shot dead barely a few hours before he was scheduled to watch the film.
Zilla Ghaziabad producer Vinod Bachchan confirms the news, "Bharatbhai is closely involved with my film. He was in serious negotiations with Ponty Chadhaji for the worldwide distribution of our film."
Bachchan says Ponty Chadha's death is a serious setback not just for his film but for the entire film industry.
"It's a big blow for our film Zilla Ghaziabad and also for the film industry. Pontyji was closely associated with many big projects involving huge financial stakes. It would be really difficult to find someone to replace his high level of financial commitment to our films."