Nov 26, 2008

Entertainment - India;Karan Johar Academy

The director is ‘training’ a whole lot of first-time directors who are kin of Bollywood biggies

All the reputed directors in Bollywood have actually asked their children, who aspire to be directors themselves, to intern with Karan Johar. The list of ‘students’, that Karan Johar has, is pretty impressive.

Says Karan, “He (Santino, Dino Morea’s brother) is my assistant on My Name Is Khan. And Boney Kapoor’s son assisted us on Kal Ho Naa Ho. And now David Dhawan’s son Varun is also working with me. These industry boys are very hardworking. They’ve seen both the ups and downs in the entertainment industry, so they value the opportunities they get.”

Karan Johar says that he wants to explore and promote new-age cinema through the talents that he is grooming. “I want to encourage new-age cinema. I’ve my own little Whistling Woods (Subhash Ghai’s film school) in my production house. My endeavour is to establish an academy of directors who won’t just make one movie for us and move on. I hope they’ll stay with us and make more movies.”

Talking about the other crop of directors working in his production house, Karan says that all first-time directors that he has signed up are really high on talent.

“I’m really happy to cultivate all this talent. I’ve had first time directors starting with
Nikhil Advani in Kal Ho Naa Ho and Soham Shah in Kaal to Tarun Mansukhani in Dostana, Ayaan Mukherjee in Wake Up, Sid and we’ve just signed Siddharth Malhotra.”

Talking about his latest recruit, Siddharth Malhotra, he says, “Siddharth is late Premnath’s grandson and Prem Kishen’s son. I’m very friendly to that family. Our families go back a long way. I don’t have a biological child. But all the directors who are making films for me are like my children. I give them full freedom to make films the way they want. When they go on the sets, they take their own energy there. I want directors who have their own voice.”

Karan Johar has now made it mandatory for all filmmakers working for his banner to sign a three-movie contract each.

“Barring Rensil D’Silva, who comes from an established ad world and we have decided to keep him bound for only one project, all the other directors are bound by a three-film contract,” Karan said.

“One must be professional about work. Yes, they’re contractually bound to make three films with us. But there’s an inherent loyalty to the banner in them. And I’ve complete faith that these new directors won’t move on from our banner.”

“If any of my children want to leave ‘home’, I’ll tear up the contract. But the legalities are important in the current corporate climate,” Karan ended.

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