Filmmaker Pooja Bhatt collaborated for two of her ambitious projects Jism 3 and Cabaret, with slain businessman Ponty Chadha. Post his sudden death, she says she is ready to accept whatever decision is taken in regard to her projects by Chadha's entertainment branch Waves.
After the shocking gunning-down of the liquor baron and film distributor in Delhi on November 17, a sense of uncertainty looms over the movie projects involving him. But Pooja wants to stick to her word, and has left the ball in the court of Chadha's successors.
"I will wait for Ponty's movie flagship Waves to decide the way forward with my two projects Jism 3 and Cabaret, which I was to do with Ponty. I will continue with the creative work on both the projects with even more fervour," said Pooja.
"If Waves decides to go ahead with our projects, we would be happy to stick to our commitment. I shall give them two films to be proud of. And if they decide not to go ahead with our projects, I shall respect that decision. But the call is theirs. I shall respect their decision. For, during his lifetime, Ponty Chadha gave me much respect in our dealings," she added.
Pooja worked closely with Chadha, and says the loss was devastating.
"His death affects the entire film industry in the most devastating way. He belonged to that rare breed of entrepreneurs who believe in the power of cinema. He backed me on both Cabaret and Jism 3 from the day he saw the first copy of Jism 2 with us. And he did so without knowing who the stars were or even a glimpse into the script. That kind of trust is rare in movie land," she said.
At the moment, Pooja grieves not for the uncertainty of her projects, but a valuable creative ally.
"My first hit as a director, Jism 2, is linked to that gentleman's faith in me. How can I ever forget that," said the actress-turned-filmmaker.
However, another filmmaker who worked closely with Chadha for many years is not too sure whether the billionaire's business empire would want to carry forward its close links with the Bollywood.
"His death is going to have deep repercussions on the movie business. Ponty was the only all−India distributor for Hindi films. He has been associated with the film industry since Ajay Devgn's 'Raju Chacha' and Ram Gopal Varma's 'Jungle'. Neither of Ponty's two brothers were interested in the movie trade.
"I don't think his son is interested either. Ponty was a passionate movie buff. He loved films and he wasn't besotted by glamorous stars. He just loved the movies. I don't think Pooja Bhatt or anyone else would get the same kind of commitment from the rest of Ponty's family," said the filmmaker on condition of anonymity.