No buyers for Preity Zinta's film

Published Mar 12, 2013 08:06am

Actress Preity Zinta smiles during a news conference in Mumbai in this February 28, 2008 file photo. — Reuters (File) Photo
Actress Preity Zinta smiles during a news conference in Mumbai in this February 28, 2008 file photo. — Reuters (File) Photo

Acting and production are two different ball games and Preity Zinta, actress who turned producer with 'Ishkq in Paris', is learning this the hard way. Although the initial release date was announced as October 5, 2012, it was first postponed to November 2 and then indefinitely.

Preity's ambitious project went to floors late in 2011, according to reports. Directed by Prem Soni, the film was co-written by Preity, and stars French actress Isabelle Adjani and newcomer Rhehan Malliek along with her. Nobody had any inkling of trouble brewing until the first promos of the film were pulled off after running them for 40 days—apparently the film had not found any buyer.

A source close to Preity, explained: "There was no sense to continue the promos since she hadn't locked the release date." Preity is on a hunt for a buyer since. Things got worse when the director of the film Prem Soni was diagnosed with cancer in October last year and Preity tweeted: "Sometimes we have no control over life and destiny. I believe things happen for a reason. Ishkq In Paris gets more special now."

However, even with Soni, fast recovering and finally done with the post production of the film, indications are that Preity has not yet locked the deal with any buyer. According to reports, Preity has demanded a whopping Rs 20 crores for the film and no buyer is willing to shell out that amount of money as the initial promos had failed to garner a favourable response. 

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In the meantime, the gregarious Preity has become a kind of a recluse—not only has she cut off contact with the director of her film, but has almost vanished from the social circuit. What took everyone by surprise was when in February 2013 Preity visited the Kumbh Mela on Mauni Amavasya and participated in a yagna. In keeping with the tradition of keeping maun (silent) on this auspicious day, the usually garrulous Preity kept silent the entire day.

Apparently, what made the actress quote such a high price for the film was a piece of advice that came from a well meaning friend, who is a leading producer and a family friend of Sridevi. According to the source: "This man drilled into Zinta's head that if Sridevi's comeback film English Vinglish could generate such a good response, then why not her film?" However, when the buyers were quoted the amount, none showed any interest in the film.

Preity was in talks with (late) Ponty Chaddha's Wave Group and Shabnam Kapoor, who is now a senior member of the team that runs the company, told TOI: "Preity wanted us to buy the film on all-India basis but we told her that we were interested only in buying it for UP-Delhi circuit. A few days after we met her, Ponty Sir passed away. After that, Preity did not come to us." Preity had approached Viacom 18 and few other studios as well. An official from Viacom 18 told TOI: "We have a definite slate of hard-hitting movies and Preity's film is a romantic film. Hence we couldn't take it up."

The actress then decided to sell the satellite rights of the film first. However, luck was not on her side this time either. An official from STAR India said: "We were okay with buying the satellite rights of the film but we needed Preity to tell us when she would be releasing the film. However, she wasn't clear about that." Even, her close friend Salman Khan's best efforts could not change the fate of the film. However, a friend of Soni said: "Preity has told Prem that she has almost locked the deal and she would release the film in May." Repeated attempts to reach Preity failed.


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