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Now, 'Om Shanti Om' to release in Japan

It’s suddenly Japan for releasing B-Town films. Close on the heels of the Yash Raj Films folk who were in Tokyo recently for the premiere of Ek Tha Tiger, it is now the turn of the Eros folk to showcase their project Om Shanti Om.

Premiere of Ek Tha Tiger in Tokyo
Yash Raj Films’ Aashish Singh and Avtar Panesar with Japanese actress Sugimoto Aya and director Kabir Khan at the premiere of Ek Tha Tiger in Tokyo last week

Director Farah Khan is presently in Tokyo for the Shah Rukh-Deepika-starrer’s red carpet event on March 16 while Ek Tha Tiger is slated to release on April 20.

Farah Khan
Speaking from Tokyo, Farah Khan says, “I had a reception at the Indian embassy in Tokyo and a preview of Om Shanti Om was attended by 90 per cent Japanese folk.”

Says an onlooker, “It looks like Bollywood has awoken to the land of the rising sun as a market to showcase their films in a big manner. All these years Hindi films hardly released and even of they did, it was barely in one or two screens.”

Om Shanti Om releases across 15 screens while Ek Tha Tiger is planning to release on an even bigger scale — around 30 screens.
Adds the onlooker, “B-Town is now competing for a share of the Japanese market too. Bollywood is known for its herd mentality. If one production house makes plans, another one is sure to follow to rake in the moolah.”

Kumar Ahuja, senior vice-president, business development, Eros, however maintains, “We had been in talks for a while and wanted to make the announcement closer to Om Shanti Om’s release date. We are constantly looking at opening new markets for Bollywood films and the film’s subject will be very well received.”

As reported ‘Sallu, sushi and moong dal’ (Hitlist, March 11), the Yash Raj Film’s folk consisting of Aashish Singh (vice president, production) and Avtar Panesar (vice president international operations) attended the premiere of the film in Tokyo along with Ek Tha Tiger director Kabir Khan. According to Panesar, “Yash Raj had been in talks with Aki Sugihara of Nikkatsu to release the film for over a year.”

Interestingly Om Shanti Om is being released in Japan by Asia Films, another distribution company.

The onlooker further adds, “This is the reason why Om Shanti Om was not mentioned during the recent event to declare that apart from Ek Tha Tiger, Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi, 3 Idiots and Don 2 would also release in Japan.”

Looks like competition is hotting up among production houses and their Japanese distributors too!

Credit crunch
Yash Raj Films have filed a case against Sri Sai Ganesh Productions and director Nandini Reddy for unofficially remaking their film Band Baaja Baaraat as Jabardasth.

The Telugu version of the film released on February 22 and stars Siddharth and Samantha in lead roles. The Tamil dubbed version of the film named as Dum Dum Pee Pee is yet to be released and the production house has stalled its release, courtesy a ruling from the Delhi High Court. Even the Telugu version’s DVDs and other formats have been stalled.

YRF had sent several warnings to the producers but in vain. The film not only got good reviews but also went on to become a hit at the box office.

— Kunal M Shah  

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