Wednesday, July 19, 2006
New Delhi (UNI): He may have won rave reviews for his latest film Valley of Flowers, which was screened as the opening film at the ongoing Asian film festival in the capital but France-based Indian filmmaker Pan Nalin is deeply concerned over the fact that no distributor has till now evinced interest in distributing the film in India. ''It is surprising that while Valley of Flowers has already been picked up by distributors in as many as 25 countries, no Indian distributor is yet willing to release the film. All this despite the fact that the film has been highly appreciated by the audiences thronging the Asian film festival'' the filmmaker says.
While in 25 countries, including France, Germany, Japan, Australia and New Zealands, rights have already been acquired for an October release, negotiations are still on with distributors in India for the film's release. Talking to UNI here, Pan Nalin said the reluctance of distributors in India to release Valley of flowers is an indication of their preference for potboilers rather than sensible and realistic cinema. ''When three years ago, I came to India with my debut directorial venture, nobody was willing to distribute it in India because it had no big stars and no songs. Only recently, Sony pictures evinced an interest in distributing the film in India. Even then, many exhibitors have pulled out the film after just two weeks of screening'' he said.
''One can understand the distributors pulling out the film if it is not good or is not getting the audience. But, the success of 'Samsara' worldwide (the film has till now earned over Rs 100 crore) and the initial response to Valley of Flowers has proved that there is an audience for these kind of movies. Yet, if they are not making their way to the theatres, it is nothing but an unfortunate fallout of our living in the times of Krrish and Superman Returns,''the filmmaker said. Nalin said it took the crew of Valley of Flowers a period of three years, shooting in locales in India, France, Japan, Germany, Poland and Bulgaria to bring this epic scale love story to life. For example, for a one minute shoot in a monastry in Ladakh, we spent 14 days - six days driving, six days trekking and two days shooting. ''If after all this hard work, the film is not released in India, it is a sorry reflection on the commercialization of film business in India'' he said.
Featuring Naseeruddin Shah, Milind Soman, French-Chinese actor Mylene Jampanoi and top Japanese model-cum-actor Eri, Valley of Flowers is one of the first mega co-productions shot in India, France, Germany and EU. Shot in Japanese and Hindi versions, Valley of Flowers is one of the first Indian films to be shot in Japan in recent times. The movie tells the story of two lovers - Jalan and Ushna (played by Model-turned actor Milind Soman and French-Chinese actress and now Milind's wife Mylene Jampanoi) - who travel in time and place, from the 18th century Himalayas to modern-day Tokyo.