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Meet Industry luminaries whose showmanship is legendary!

Industry luminaries whose showmanship is legendary

Shapoorji Pallonji, Subhash Ghai and Anand Pandit exemplify cinematic grandeur

Raj Kapoor’s famous Holi parties, Dilip Kumar’s Eid gatherings and Amitabh Bachchan’s Diwali bash; these are some of the definitive memories that come to mind whenever the film industry reminisces about showmanship and hospitality. Showmanship is a term that also extends to how producers make films and the lengths they can go to make cinema a once in a lifetime experience.

Here are three such achievers who have truly earned the badge of supreme showmanship in the industry:

Shapoorji Pallonji

Indian conglomerate Shapoorji Pallonji will go down in history as the force behind one of the most celebrated films in Hindi cinema, ‘Mughal-E-Azam.’ K Asif’s magnum opus went through many financial difficulties and that is when Shapoorji Pallonji stepped in to finance the film in 1950. Although he had no knowledge of film production, he stepped in to back Asif’s dream and the rest is history. He poured over Rs 1.5 crore in the film (the equivalent of Rs 500 crore today), making it the most expensive Indian film of that era. He ensured that every detail of the epic was note perfect including the set of Sheesh Mahal which took two years to build and cost more than ₹1.5 million which was more than the budget of an entire film. Decades later, his company Shapoorji Pallonji, also returned to back director Feroz Abbas Khan’s play ‘Mughal-e-Azam: The Musical’, thus proving that it takes great commitment and conviction to create an eternal classic.

Subhash Ghai

From a FTII graduate who starred in minor roles in films like ‘Aradhana’ and ‘Umang,’ Subhash Ghai went on to try his luck in direction and hit the jackpot right from his directorial debut ‘Kalicharan’ in 1976. Then followed, mega hits like ‘Karz’ (1980), ‘Vidhaata’ (1982), ‘Karma’ (1986), ‘Saudagar’ (1991), ‘Hero’ (1983), ‘Meri Jung’ (1985), ‘Karma’ (1986), ‘Ram Lakhan’ (1989), ‘Khalnayak’ (1993) and counting. He eventually turned to production with films such as Aitraaz (2004) and Iqbal (2005) and also set up a prestigious film institute, ‘Whistling Woods.’ In his directorial avatar, he not only worked with stalwarts like Dilip Kumar, Raj Kumar, Sanjeev Kumar, Shatrughan Sinha, Sridevi, Naseeruddin Shah, Shahrukh Khan but also galvanised the careers of Jackie Shroff, Meenakshi Sheshadri, Madhuri Dixit and Anil Kapoor. He also introduced Mahima Chowdhary to the industry and his films will always be remembered for their lavishly mounted story-telling as well as glorious musical scores.

Anand Pandit

In January, producer Anand Pandit became possibly India’s first truly pan-Indian producer when he decided to back Kannada filmmaker R Chandru’s next five films. In the recent past, Pandit has produced not only Hindi films like ‘Chehre,’ ‘The Big Bull,’ ‘Sarkar-3’ and many more but also backed regional biggies like ‘Kabzaa’ (Kannada), ‘Fakt Mahilao Maate’ and ‘Tron Ekka’ (Gujarati) and Marathi narratives like ‘Victoria’ and ‘Baap Manus.’ He is now also foraying into Punjabi cinema. Pandit’s showmanship is also evident from his star-studded parties. Be it a Diwali soiree or personal milestones like his 60th birthday, every celebration is attended by industry luminaries like Amitabh Bachchan, Shahrukh Khan and counting. As a real estate developer and the force behind Lotus Developers as well Anand Pandit Motion Pictures, he is possibly the only industry celebrity who has effortlessly succeeded in two completely different fields.