Dear Mr. Chopra. Many thanks that you take the time to answer our questions.
BNA: The film "FANAA" with Aamir Khan and Kajol will be soon shown in the cinemas. Are there already plans to distribute the film rights also in Germany?
Yash Chopra: The film Fanaa has just been released worldwide including USA, UK, Holland and other countries. It is a resounding success all over!
For a German release, it has to be dubbed and we are looking at a possibility for doing so.Thus , this is being currrently worked upon
BNA: Regarding film distribution video piracy is the problem of the film industry. Do you know any statistics about the damage that YashRaj Films met?
Yash Chopra: The loss of business due to piracy, is immense and almost incalculable. In Europe in particular, on the second day after the release of Fanaa, almost 100,000 DVDs of the film were being imported into Germany and France by pirates through their regular network.
BNA: How want you to solve that problem of the video piracy?
Yash Chopra: This menace can only be resolved with the co-operation of local Governments as well as by releasing our films much earlier in various countries. This is an on-going process.
BNA: In 2005 your film “VEER – ZAARA” was shown at the Berlinale. The film was a success according to audience and critics. Was this success in Germany a surprise in your eyes?
Yash Chopra: Indeed the success of Veer Zaara in Germany was a very pleasant surprise. Veer Zaara is completely based on Indian values, emotions, rural locales in India, with a 3-1/2 hours length, 8 songs and a lot of Indian traditional set-up. Despite this, the Germans seem to love the film. I saw so many tearful eyes at the end of the film. This convinced me that human emotions are the same all over the world and we only need to share our respective cultures with each other to be able to identify better with each other. What better way to do this than through the medium of cinema?
BNA: How did you feel as you have known to be a jury member for the Berlinale in 2006? Was it a logical consequece of your success?
Yash Chopra: Being selected as a Jury Member at the Berlinale 2006, was indeed a feather in my cap and an acknowledgement of my 5 decades career. I do not see this as a personal achievement, but as an achievement for Indian cinema, which is now sharing a global platform.
BNA: Are there any plans to be present furthermore on the German market? Let´s say by a distribution office in Germany, by shootings in Germany or by a première show like last month in Paris?
Yash Chopra: Yes, indeed the response to our films in the last one year in Germany will certainly lead to a more focused approach towards tapping the potential and strengthening business alliances and increasing the presence of our products in Germany.
BNA: Now you are 73 years old and nearly 50 years in film business. You had a lot of success, but also some disappointments. Which successful moment you will remember forever?
Yash Chopra: Indeed in my 5 decade career, I experienced various wonderful moments, when I launched my own production house, Yash Raj Films in 1973 with my first film DAAG. While, I will, forever, be indebted to my brother who gave me directorial breaks in his company, the thrill of producing my own films was unmatched and in this journey since 1973, my company has now produced over 30 films in 3 decades.
The second memorable moment was when my young 23 years old son, Aditya Chopra scripted and directed his first film Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge in 1995. This film has become the longest running film in Indian film history. In fact, it is still running in Bombay in it’s 11th year. This landmark film made me a very proud father.
BNA: Which failure learned you a important lesson and how?
Yash Chopra: One of my favourite films, Lamhe, did not achieve commercial success. I received much critical acclaim, but it’s failure did hit me as I realized that however well made a film be, the audiences must connect and identify with the characters. May be the film was before it’s time and I should have waited a few years before making it.
BNA: Your both sons Uday and Aditya are also in film business. You must be very proud of them. Where do you see the future of Uday and where those of Aditya?
Yash Chopra: Aditya, my elder son, apart from being a very successful director is now producing 4 films a year for Yash Raj Films and in the continuous process of discovering young new directors and creative talents in various fields. He has played a major role in setting up the YRF Studios, which has been my dream.
Uday continues to act selectively in films, produced by us as well as others. He is also playing a major role in the Information Technology and digital rights management for our company as these are his areas of core strength. I am indeed proud of both my sons and I am sure the Company that I started over 3 decades ago is now poised for bigger growth in their safe hands.
BNA: What´s your messange for the german audience?
Yash Chopra: German audiences gave so much love in my last two visits and this overwhelmed me. I can only say that they should view Indian films with an open mind and continue to patronize our creativity and enjoy the values of emotions and traditions that we depict in our films.
I thank to you for taking time and for the answer of these questions. I wish you and your family all the best for your further professional and private future.
Alexandra Ccahuana Tito
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