New shows, feature films in BAG Films' kitty in '04

MUMBAI: After lying low in 2003, (just one soap Kum Kum- Ek Pyara Sa Bandhan), BAG Films is gearing to return to the reckoning After reformatting Haqeeqat on Sahara Manoranjan recently and launching Koie Jane Na on Star Plus last week, the production house that went public last year is getting ready with a kitty of new shows and feature films and lots more... to be launched in 2004.

According to BAG Films Mumbai head Rajesh Chaddha, a large amount of last year was spent in conceptualising the shows and waiting for the right slots to get vacated. Said Chaddha, "The audience tastes are changing and the shows need to be pitched perfectly; else the entire hard work would go down the drain." Speaking to, Chaddha said, "We just completed a telefilm Gol Maal Ghar for Sahara. The title Gol Maal Ghar is yet to be approved by the Indian Motion Pictures Producers Association. It's a two-hour comedy film, starring Manav Gohil and Gauri Pradhan, to be telecast in April. Sahara is starting a new two-hour slot called Home Theatre on Saturdays and Sundays; it would be meant for tele-films. On this new slot, we expect to make many more such ventures." 

If starry shows have failed to set the cash registers ringing, BAG Films is not perturbed by the fact. He says, "We are getting ready with a big daily titled Ek Muthi Aasman for Sahara. The show has been sanctioned. The shooting will begin in May and the programme will be telecast by July or August. The story was ready since one year, suddenly we found that a new show on a rival channel, had elements of what we had developed for this particular show. So, a few changes had to be made. For a change, the Sahara soap, unlike all others, will have the male as the protagonist, who is a big Bollywood name." 

The company is producing a 26 episode musical show - a half-hour weekly on Sundays, the shooting for which begins on 23 March and the first episode will go on air from 4 April. Well known artiste Brian Sellers would be playing popular songs from Hindi cinema on the piano with Rajeshwari Sachdev as the anchor.

BAG Films has targeted Star Plus as well. Apparently, the good equation built by the long running Kum Kum- Ek Pyara Sa Bandhan holds strong.

Keeping with the times, BAG Films will produce an election based show for Star News. "It would be an update on elections, with forecasts, debates, results, analysis and everything under the sun related to polling," informs Chaddha, saying that the title of the show and the choice of the anchor are being worked upon. The show will be shot in Delhi, where BAG Films will hire a studio and employ an extra force of 150-175 people, specially meant for this programme.

BAG Films is also coming up with their own studio in Noida, which would be spread over a complex of 1.5 acres. The studio, which would kick off in May, would be a one-stop shop for shooting with the best equipment possible. "We are looking at shooting cookery shows, political shows, films for corporate and ministry - which would be a good segment of our future agenda- to be shot in this studio. The complex would also comprise of an institution which would involve teaching of technicalities like editing and directing shows, among many others."Says Chaddha, "We are also coming up with a very spicy and saucy half-hour show (untitled as yet) on Star Plus. It would involve talking about all the grapevine of television industry- who has signed whom, who has chucked out whom, who is sleeping with whom... something like Lehren of yesteryears, but restricted to television. We may title it as Tellywood. Though the show has not been commissioned still, the first round of talks are over, and from my knowledge I expect it to be on air from mid-April or early May."

"Though nobody has been approached as yet to play the anchor, we would be looking at either Sanjit Bedi or Hussain if it's going to be a male anchor or Shweta Tiwari, Juhi Parmar, Gulrez or Gurdip Kohli if it's a female anchor. The final call would rest with the channel; it could be someone else who is called in," he added.BAG Films has also started their operations in Kolkata, recently. "One daily and one reality based show is on air on Tara Bangla, the other one is coming up any moment on the same channel," said Chaddha.

Last, but not the least it seems, BAG Films is set to enter film-production. Mejoo Khan, who worked with MAD Films and Metalight Productions, has joined the company from mid-February. Informs Khan, "We now have a films division in the company. We are looking at probably announcing two or three films at the same time. It will be premature to shoot off the concepts now, because they have not been exhaustively streamlined as yet. We are going to have a multi-portfolio approach, where different directors can picture their concepts to us. We intend making masala films as well as cross-over films. We have not finalised the cast of any film as yet. But yes, we should be on floors with our first feature film in August."

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