Telugu director’s racy, Hollywood flick

Like many of the great novelist’s works, The Company of Women, too, is quite racy

City-based businessman Vasu Manthena buys the rights to make a film based on a Khushwant Singh book

Vasu Manthena wears many hats. From owning educational institutions, to dabbling in theatre and ballet, starting a news channel (iNews) to filmmaking. After his Telugu film Basthi, Vasu is now all set to go International. He has acquired the rights to make a film based on Khushwant Singh’s acclaimed novel The Company of Women. The film, which will be in English with an international starcast, will be made under Vasu’s own banner, Vazman Productions.

Like many of the great novelist’s works, The Company of Women, too, is quite racy. Asked about that, Vasu says, “The Company of Women is regarded as one of Khushwant Singh’s best works. It’s a bold story with no inhibitions. It discusses taboos and dark secrets in a man’s sexual life while also giving credence to his confessions, overcoming guilt and shame. It is an amusing subject with the trapping of being a great entertainer on celluloid.”

And he isn’t worried about the Censor's cuts. “We are going to release the movie through a Hollywood studio. The Indian version may have to be tweaked keeping in view the Censor Board.

“I am in the process of engaging an Academy Award-winning music director and screenplay writer. There will also be an international cast and crew for this project. The film will be shot in Princeton, Delhi and Haridwar,” he adds. Apparently, a close associate of Telangana CM K. Chandrasekhar Rao, Vasu also adds that a few other ventures are in the pipeline. “By nature I think I am adventurous and creative. I find showbiz to be an exciting outlet.”

“I have also procured the Telugu remake rights of hit Punjabi movies Sardarji, Jat and Juilet 2. A biopic in Hindi is also at the pre-production stage. All these projects will take their final shape soon - not more than three years.”

Giving us a bit of background about himself, Vasu explains his several ventures into media. “Born into a business family, I have been ‘entrepreneurially’ inclined and branched out to many ventures in Africa, US and India. One of the ventures that I started and which was extremely successful was the Telugu news channel iNews. I exited from the channel in 2011.”

And about doing Basthi and now, Company of Women, despite not having much experience in the industry, he says, “Theater and the TV channel did fulfill my creative zest to some extend, but when I had a great story to tell, I found only films to be my outlet - the movies have always been a major part of my life and Basthi was my first creative expression.”

Coming back to the film, we ask him which actors he thinks would be best suited. “Irfan Khan would be my first choice. And I would need seven female actors in important roles, all of whom will be selected from Hollywood and Bollywood auditions.” Also, any Tollywood actors on his radar? And he answers with a curt “no”.

( Source : deccan chronicle )
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