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When the coloured version of Mughal-e-Azam hit the cinemas many film buffs were left wishing that more classics be given the magic touch. Making their dream come true is Ravi Chopra who has coloured father B. R. Chopra's Naya Daur. He talks about his desire to bring alive all of his father's black-and-white movies in colour.
Is the colored version of Naya Daur your gift to your father?
No, it is nothing like that. It was my father's dream. I have only kept my father's film alive by colouring it.
Which other films do you wish to add colours to?
All the seven films that my father made. After Naya Daur, I'm looking forward to colour Gumraah. Then it could be Dhool Ka Phool, followed by Kanoon. But there is a lot of time for all that to happen.
What was your father's reaction when he saw the coloured version of Naya Daur?
It was an emotional moment for both of us. My father was in tears and he told to me "Tumne meri film nayee bana di"(you have renewed my film). It is a cherished moment for me.
Did you think of colouring Naya Daur after K. Asif's son Akbar Asif coloured Mughal-e-Azam?
I had always dreamt of colouring papa's films. Incidentally, Akbar coloured Mughal-e-Azam before I could colour Naya Daur. Later, it proved to be a boon for me as I avoided the mistakes which Akbar made. I made sure I wasn't adding too much colour to the frames. Moreover, Mughal-e-Azam was coloured with a business point of view, whereas I have added colours to Naya Daur as a film-maker.
What is your take on the remakes and sequels that are being made today?
I feel it is much better to colour a black-and-white film than to make a sequel or remake to it. Unfortunately, film-makers today are too busy with remakes and sequels. I want to ask them if they can ever remake any of Bimal Roy's films with the same beauty? I strongly believe that good films should not die.
Your sons are also entering Bollywood.
Yes, my elder son Kapil has taken to acting and his first film Kohinoor, written by Prakash Bokadia (of Devdas fame), will kick off this November. My younger son Abhay will be directing a film called Mitti under our banner.
How much guidance do you give to your sons?
My sons take no advice from me and do things on their own. All that I do is take a look at the script of the film.
Tell us something about the film Bhoothnath.
It is a film made especially for the family audience. In it, Amitabh Bachchan becomes the ghost friend of Shah Rukh Khan's son. The child actor is the one who was seen in the Rin advertisement with Bachhan. The last schedule of this film will start on July 16 and end on September 18. I cannot tell you more at this point of time.