Sohan Roy was in Kozhikode recently to participate in PV Sami memorial award presentation.
On the eve of Onam festival, he spoke to M.Rajesh, Founder, and News Director of www.calicutnewmedia.com (CNM).
Here is an excerpt from the interview, CNM had from Hotel Taj Gateway, P.T Usha Road, Kozhikode.
UAE based non-resident Indian (NRI) Sohan Roy broke into the movie world by putting his innovation. He is a marine engineer by profession and business magnet. He has established his business empire; Aries Group of Companies in the UAE. He is running ‘Project Indywood’ to expand the horizon of Indian movie towards global excellence.
Roy’s English film Dam 999, and Malayalam movie Jalam, took Indian movies up to the Oscar levels.
A tribute to the victims of Banqiao dam disaster of 1975, the movie anticipated calamity for outdated dams in the world. The movie received 5 Oscar selections in 3 categories at the 84th Academy Awards in 2011.
Jalam is the first charity movie in the world,a CSR film by Aries Group,directed by M.Padmakumar.
He always stands for futuristic movies. Roy is introducing latest technology and visual treat in films. He had no mentors in this field. However, he used his own calibre to find a place, unparallelled to many experienced directors.
There were many challenges. However, those challenges were thrilling too, according to Roy. ”If you do something new, differently, it gives you thrilling experiences.”
Indian film industry has to grow further and find a place in international entertainment market.
Branding of Indian stars in foreign countries
“India’s contribution to world movie is just 40%.India can beat China in cinema industry, if we use its true potential.”
Branding of Indian film stars in other countries also has great importance.
Rajnikanth is a branded star in Japan.
Similarly, Amir Khan gets such an iconic role in China thanks to his movies, Three idiots and PK. The more Indian actors get such places in foreign countries, the more growth, and popularity in Indian filmdom. A well-planned movie making and distribution networks help nourish Indian film art in international arena, believes Roy.
Indywood has many such innovative plans to brand Indian movies across the globe.
“We are planning to set up 10,000 screens out of which 7,000 outside India, including 2,000 multiplexes.”
BR Shetty’s 1000 cr investment in his new project, Mahabharatha, is a beginning of new era in Indian movie.
It gives more confidence to other filmmakers too. More investments will come into the industry.
Commenting on his new project, Burning Well, a movie based on Kuwait war, Sohan Roy said it was progressing.
“However, it has to clear off many legal procedures from Kuwait government. After the clearance, we will complete the task. We are using latest technology in this movie too.
We are introducing 8K technology. It is futurusitic.8K will standardise within few years.
This technology helps to express even minute things on screen. Our perspective to films will change thanks to this technology.
When asked how he could manage all his tasks including marine engineering, business, and film industry, Sohan Roy replied:
“Time management and balancing is very important. I am following 1:1:1 policy;
“One for myself; one for my loved ones and one for my job.”
Another important project is making film based entertainment tourism.
Film cities in Kozhikode and Kochi
As part of this, Indywood is planning to launch multi-million film city projects in Kochi and Kozhikode.
This 200-300 crore project will change the landscape of entertainment industry and tourism sector.
It will have permanent screening centres. It may become the hub of Southern film industry.
We have begun our location hunt in Kozhikode to start a film city. Simultaneously, we are trying to find a suitable spot in Kochi, too. We will prefer the best available location, first.
In this new project , major players in the local film industry will associate. And ,free screening of movie also planned,permanently with the introduction of film city. So,cinema will get more viewers and those who are unable to afford ticket,can enjoy movies from the free screening center.But,duration of such movies may go high because sponsored screening requires advertisement.
Kozhikode has many untapped tourism potential, comparing with Kochi. Therefore, our priority is Kozhikode.
Cinema need not be limited to a small frame. Technology helps us to put films in big canvas and create a broad world.
Sohan Roy.photos by Dinup SR
When asked which movie was most satisfying to him as a movie maker,Sohan Roy said:
“Jalam is a good movie.However,it was a huge loss in box office.It is disappointing that the movie didn’t reach to people.I think that the audience attitude towards good movies also should change.”
Indywood film carnival
Indywood film carnival scheduled to be held in Hyderabad in December will open a broad venue for film enthusiasts and investors. It may change the destiny of Indian film industry.We have to march ahead to reach more countries. Geographical boundaries have no place in film sector. Indian cinema must reach to 7.5 billion people.”says a confidant Roy.
Roy ,a native of Kollam in Kerala is settled in Dubai.His wife Abhini is an interior designer.Roy has twin daughters ,Nirmalya and Nivedya .Both are learning naval architech from the United Kingdom.