Vidhu Vinod Chopra Films Festival kicks off

Mumbai: Bollywood producer-director Vidhu Vinod Chopra`s film festival, organised in association with PVR Cinemas got off to a roaring start here with several political and B-town biggies marking their attendance for the first of its kind retrospective of his movies.

The cinematic event is being held from March 29-April 4 as a tribute to mark Chopra`s completion of 30 years in the film industry, at various PVR Cinemas across the nation.

Chopra started his journey in filmdom with short films like `Murder At Monkey Hill` and `Encounter with Faces`. His first feature film, shot in black-and-white was `Sazaa-E-Maut` (1981). He is best known for films like `Parinda`, `1942: A Love Story`, `Mission Kashmir`, `Munna Bhai` series, `Parineeta` and `Three Idiots`.

Several stalwarts including senior BJP leader L K Advani, Union Minister Farooq Abdullah, Mukesh Ambani with wife Nita, Rajkumar Hirani, Anil Kapoor, Sanjay Dutt with wife Manyatta, Jackie Shroff, Manisha Koirala, Sudhir Mishra, Amol Gupte, Anurag Kashyap, Siram Raghavan, Danny Denzongpa, Sharman Joshi, singer Kavita Krishnamurthy, music director Anu Malik were among those present at the PVR Juhu cinema to celebrate `30 years of Striving in Cinema` – A Festival of Vinod Chopra Films`.

Both Advani and Abdullah said they were great fans of Chopra`s films "Among Indian filmmakers, Vinod is one of the greatest one. He is one such filmmaker whose films I have seen. He is one such director whom I respect a lot. Recently, I liked `3 Idiots` the most," Advani told reporters here on Thursday night.

Even Union Minister Farooq Abdullah was full of praise for the filmmaker. "Vinod Bhai is a wonderful director and producer and none of his films have failed.. instead all of his films had a lesson to learn and at the same time there was entertainment also," Abdullah said.

"`Munnabhai` did wonders for him and was liked by everyone, everywhere. Also, he made `Mission Kashmir` when the time was difficult there. And my Chief Secretary`s house was demolished. But it was fantastic film," he said.

The festival screenings kicked off today with a Red Carpet Premiere of Chopra`s one of the blockbuster film `Parinda` (1989). "I am excited about the festival. When I watch the films I feel they are meant to be seen on big screen and not on DVDs. I am looking forward to see `Parinda`, `Khamosh`. I have been associated with Vinod for ten years, so I am looking forward to see his old films," Rajkumar Hirani said.

"He is one of the finest directors we have today. I was fortunate to work with him. During `1942: A Love Story` we had a great team I have lot of memories," actress Manisha Koirala said.

"I am completely honored to be here. In my opinion it is one of the most successful production houses of recent times. The body of work he (Vidhu Vinod Chopra) has been doing since 30 years is great. I have been fortunate to work with him in `3 Idiots` and now again honored to be part of `Ferrari Ki Sawari`," actor Sharman Joshi said.

All the films made under Vinod Chopra Films including those like `Khamosh` (1985) will be screened for the audience at this festival. Also, cast and crew of a particular film including stars like Aamir Khan, Shabana Azmi, Manisha Koirala, Sanjay Dutt and others will join for discussions during the festival. The filmmaker also plans to release the screenplay of Guru Dutt`s classic `Sahib, Biwi Aur Ghulam` during the fest.