Nari Hira ventures into filmmaking with 'Bhram'

Nov 6, 2007 Parveen Chopra

New York, Nov 6 (IANS) Indian media baron Nari Hira, who produced 15-odd video films in the 1980s, is venturing into feature filmmaking with "Bhram - an Illusion", a psychological thriller, which is ready for Jan 2008 release.

"We plan to produce 3-4 films every year under the banner of Magna Films," the founder and chief of Magna group of publications told IANS at his penthouse facing Central Park here.

Hira, who divides his time between Mumbai and New York, was accompanied by "Bhram" star Milind Soman.

Hira said their films would be different from the usual Bollywood flicks. "Niche films have a market now with 300 multiplex screens in India," he argued.

Magna Films will work like the film studios of old, signing technicians, even actors, for multiple projects. Hira's video film venture also worked in the same fashion, but was shut down due to piracy problems.

His flagship magazine, Stardust, now has a German edition. French and Polish editions may follow.

"Bhram" is directed by Pavan Kaul, whose credits include the quirky "Ssshhhh....". Its screenplay is by Bhavana R., who wrote the screenplay of "Black".

"Bhram" stars Dino Morea and stunning model-turned-actress Sheetal Menon in the lead roles besides Milind Soman. But it is not a love triangle.

"It is a mystery, emotionally charged, with focus on relationships," Soman said. "'Bhram', as the title says, is also about the discovery of truth - what is truth to you may be an illusion for another."

Long-haired and bearded, Soman said he enjoyed doing off-beat films. One of his favourites is "Valley of Flowers", showing at the Indo American Arts Council film festival in New York starting Wednesday.

"It is special for me because while shooting for it I met my wife - co-star Mylene Jampanoi, a French actress.

Among Soman's forthcoming films are "Arn", a Swedish film set in the 12th century, "The Flag", also a period film in Hindi set around the time of India's independence, and "Phir Zindagi", from his own production house.

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