THIRUVANATHAPURAM–For 48 year old Sohan Roy , a naval architectural engineer turned film personality, there is just one thing in mind: to transform the Indian film industry.
“The Indian film industry, in whichever way one looks at it, is at least three decades behind Hollywood and my vision and goal is to see that in five years time, we will be on the road to become the best,” Roy told IANS.
Asked from where the investment is going to come for his Project Indywood, Roy said he expects support from 2,000 corporate firms and NRI millionaires.
“We have mapped an investment of 10 billion US dollars, which would be required for Indian cinema to undergo a technical revolution in all stages of production and setting up post production studios. Besides, the industry has to be recognised as a business sector with support from banks and also having the cushion of damage protection from insurance companies,” he said.
“Look, 40 percent of the world cinema is happening in India and hence we should have quality film festivals and also state of the art film schools,” he added.
Roy operates out of UAE and is the chairman of Aries Group of Companies that operate in 15 countries and has 45 companies under him and its functions ranges from ship designing, marine inspection, state of the art multiplexes, post production studios, animation schools and similar ventures.
Roy has set the ball rolling by investing heavily in Kerala and by now has set up state of the art multiplex, animation studio, post production labs, and has even conducted a film festival of his own.
“What I have done is I have taken the lead to transform and my first project was the
English film ‘DAM 999’ that I directed and which was released in 2011. I introduced several things including using the state of the art equipment for shooting and its post production, besides the concept of insurance was also introduced, wherein everyone including the crew and the cast had to have compulsory insurance,” said Roy.
“I then took on lease a theatre complex in the capital city and completely renovated it and turned it into a new experience for the audience. Mind you, the recent blockbuster ‘Bahubeli’ had the country’s best collection in our theatre because we are the only one to have a double 4K screen projection,” said Roy.
He gave the example of China and said how they transformed the film industry there in a period of 5 to 7 years and today there are 200 IMAX theatres there.
“IMAX was first launched in 1971 and today in our country there are just three such theatres. We have set a target for around 300 screens in the country , which will have the Chinese Giant Screen technology as it is cheaper,” Roy said.
“We have identified the 300 screens in the country. Besides we will work for setting up 10,000 new multiplexes, similar to what I have done in the state capital,” he added.
Last week, Roy organised the All Lights India International Film Festival and Indywood Film Market and he did it with the help of Malayalam film industry.
“Present on the occasion were leading lights from the technical and post production fields in world cinema. May be, it did not get the desired media attention, but the film industry people from South India and Bollywood have seen it and we already have got support from Ramoji Rao who has expressed his desire to host the second edition of this at his prestigious Film City,” he said.
He also stated that he set the lead for companies who are engaged in corporate social responsibility (CSR) and has produced “Jalam” (water) which has a social theme.
“Look, for more and more companies to come forward to produce films on social aspects, the government has to include production of such films as part of CSR activities and if so, then more and more opportunities would be there for aspiring film makers,” added Roy.