The crossover coterie: When Bollywood producers back international films
Given our steady progress in recent times, saying that Indians are making their presence felt on the global platform won’t be an overstatement.
In the field of cinema too, we have witnessed some crossovers. And while we don’t have many actors shifting from Bollywood to Hollywood, there are several Indian film producers or producers of Indian origin who have backed international projects. The latest in this list is Uday Chopra, who has a produced the recently released film, Grace of Monaca. hitlist points out other producers who have produced such films...
Lowdown: Known for launching fresh faces in the Hindi film industry, this eligible bachelor has recently\ ventured into film production as well and that too, in international waters. He’s currently backing a Canadian feature film called Dr. Cabbie, which stars Kunal Nayyar of The Big Bang Theory fame.
Vidhu Vinod Chopra
Lowdown: Counted among the most powerful filmmakers in Bollywood today, Vidhu finally forayed into Hollywood with Broken Horses. He not only wrote and directed the film but also produced it. The film is yet to get a release and we hope that it’s not a one-off project.
Lowdown: Be it Mississippi Masala (1991), Monsoon Wedding (2001) or The Namesake (2006), Mira has produced her own directorial ventures, apart from partnering with others for several collaborations. And throughout, international stars appeared in all her ventures.
Lowdown: This Chennai-born and Los Angeles-based filmmaker is among the most influential Indians in Hollywood. One of the busiest producers in showbiz, his filmography includes memorable movies like The Boondock Saints (1999), Trade (2007) and Ghost Rider (2011) — to name a few.
Lowdown: She directed and produced all her films — right from the unforgettable Bend It Like Beckham (2002) to the forgettable Bride & Prejudice (2004). Her next venture is a historical film with names like Naseeruddin Shah and Saif Ali Khan on her wishlist.
Lowdown: His company, Reliance Entertainment — which signed a $1.5 billion deal with Steven Spielberg’s DreamWorks — funded the Oscar-winning Lincoln (2012). The Hundred-Foot Journey, starring Om Puri and Helen Mirren, is its next big project along with an untitled film on Cold War, starring Tom Hanks.
Lowdown: Even though her last cinematic outing, Midnight’s Children (2012) failed to evoke the response she might have expected, her body of work includes the Elements Trilogy: Fire (1996), Earth (1998), and Water (2005). Her next is an untitled international project featuring Randeep Hooda.
Lowdown: The co-producer of films like Once Upon a Time in Mumbaai (2010), Gangs of Wasseypur (2012), Shahid (2013), and Monsoon Shootout (2013) has never shied away from international projects either — be it The Lunchbox (2013) or the Michael Winterbottom-directed Trishna (2012).
Manoj Night Shyamalam
Lowdown: Born in Pondicherry, Manoj went on to win acclaim with the remarkable film, The Sixth Sense (1999). Interestingly enough, that is the only film that he directed but didn’t produce. His projects as a producer include Unbreakable (2000), Signs (2002) and The Village (2004). After Earth (2013) is his latest endeavour.
When it comes to Indian producers backing international projects, Ismail Merchant is in a league of his own.
Along with James Ivory, he co-founded Merchant Ivory Productions. The force behind legions of movies, six of their films went on to win Oscars. He passed away in 2005 at the age of 68.