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Bollywood stars who went regional

For better or for worse, there is an enviable change taking place in Indian cinema today. With new names cropping every now and then, newer genres are being explored in different parts of the country. One of the most intriguing facets of this trend has to be Hindi film actors who seem interested in regional cinema. As a result, some of these Bollywood personalities are seen producing films in vernacular languages. We take a look at a few of them...

Akshay Kumar
Akshay Kumar
Out and about: Mr Khiladi made his full-fledged foray into production with Joker (2011). Later, he produced the Paresh Rawal-starrer OMG: Oh My God (2012) and this year, he ventured into Marathi cinema by co-producing the Rajiv Patil Film: 72 Miles: Ek Pravas (2013). His next Marathi production is Anntar, which stars Tanishaa Mukerji in the leading role. Akki is also producing a Punjabi film titled Bhaji in Trouble, starring Gippy Grewal and Ragini Khanna.

Ritesh Deshmukh
Ritesh Deshmukh
Out and about: Grand Masti might be his biggest hit till date but what his debut Marathi production, Balak Palak, managed to do at the box-office last year was something simply unprecedented for him. Encouraged by the positive outcome of his experimentation, Ritesh is not only making his acting debut in a Marathi film with the upcoming Lai bhaari but also producing the film.

Jimmy Sheirgill
Jimmy Sheirgill
Out and about: Known for his acting chops in Hindi film industry, this Punjabi munda eventually returned to his roots after a terrible back injury. Although he’s active in Bollywood, Jimmy feels Punjabi cinema can do much better than it is doing currently. In the meanwhile, he has produced four Punjabi movies so far with Rangeelay being his latest venture. He acted in it along with Neha Dhupia.

Mahesh Manjrekar
Mahesh Manjrekar
Out and about: One of those few actors who comfortably switched from Marathi to Hindi and back, Manjrekar made his directorial mark with films like Vaastav (1999) and Astitva (2000). Lately, he has been behind an active face behind the production of acclaimed Marathi films like Kokanastha, Kaksparsh, Shikshanacha Aai Cha Gho, De Dhakka and Me Shivaji Raje Bhosle Boltoy.

Amitabh Bachchan
Amitabh Bachchan
Out and about: Although his ambitious production house Amitabh Bachchan Corp Ltd (ABCL) faced existential issues, Big B never stopped himself from making films he wanted to. As of now, Bbuddah Hoga Terra Baap (2011) is his last Hindi production. However, on the regional front, he produced the Gujarati film Saptapadi. Interestingly, he also happens to be Gujarat’s brand ambassador.

Anupam Kher
Anupam Kher
Out and about: After helming Om Jai Jagadish (2002), he has consciously stayed away from direction. Interestingly, Anupam’s debut production venture was the Bengali film Bariwali (2000) which was directed by Rituparno Ghosh. Later, the veteran actor went on to produce Assamese filmmaker Jahnu Barua’s Hindi debut Maine Gandhi Ko Nahin Mara (2005).

Vivek Oberoi
Vivek Oberoi
Out and about: This actor is known for his soft corner for Tamil Nadu but his debut production venture turned out to be a Hindi-Rajasthani production called Dekh Indian Circus. Starring Nawazuddin Siddiqui & Tannishtha Chatterjee in the leading role, the film not only garnered several awards across the globe at film fests but also earned two National Awards.

Neetu Chandra
Neetu Chandra
Out and about: Neetu’s debut production is a Bhojpuri film titled Deswa which has been doing the rounds at film circuits. Apparently, it has travelled to eight international film festivals so far. However, it hasn’t drawn a commercial release yet. According to the young actress-turned-producer, it is high class for her Bihar market and low budget for Hindi cinema. 

South and about
Vyjayanthimala
Vyjayanthimala once co-produced a Marathi film named Jhep in 1960. Actresses, during that era, mostly shied away from production. 

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