Bollywood mourns G P Sippy's loss

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Mumbai, Dec 26 (UNI) Many Bollywood personalities today mourned the demise of veteran filmmaker G P Sippy, as his funeral took place here today.

G P Sippy passed away last night at the age of 93.

He produced many memorable films, but in the annals of history of Bollywood he is known as the filmmaker whose film 'Sholay' changed the face of Indian cinema in the early 70s.

Besides writing history, Sippy has redefined careers and worked with the biggest superstars of Bollywood like Amitabh Bachchan, Dharamendra, Jaya Bachchan, Hema Malini, Sanjeev Kumar, he has immortalized 'Gabbar' alias Amjad Khan.

Apart from 'Sholay', his other biggest films were 'Seeta Aur Geeta', 'Shaan' and 'Sagar'.

Under his banner, he made films like 'Shrimati 420', 'Chandrakant', 'Light House', 'Bhai Behan' and 'Andaaz'.

'Gabbar', a character in 'Sholay', is alive 32 years after its creation. Despite numerous attempts by many filmmakers, like Ram Gopal Varma, and others, nobody could recreate the magic the way Sippy did it.

Speaking to UNI, filmmaker Vashu Bhagnani expressed his grief, saying ''More than money, a creative genius like G P Sippy must have felt the satisfaction that RGV could not better or even perfect the menace called Gabbar created by him. His death has left a huge void in Bollywood.

''I feel his son and grandson Ramesh Sippy and Rohan Sippy respectively must make one more 'Sholay' in their lifetime,'' he said.

''I don't think that while making Sholay G P Sippy realised that he was making a film of this magnitude. He was a fantastic filmmaker. The business that his one film has done, no other film had. He will be missed,'' he added.

A similar thought was echoed by Bhojpuri superstar Ravi Kishen, who told UNI ''His demise has left all of us very sad. He made a Bhojpuri film with me and his interaction with me last year was great. He visited the sets and we were talking. I wanted him to see the first copy of my film. He was a great man with a large heart who made larger-than life films.'' Incidentally, Kishen will be playing Gabbar in the forthcoming film, which will be made by the Balaji head honcho Ekta Kapoor.

Sippy also produced films like, 'Raju Ban Gaya Gentleman' in 1992, 'Aatish' (1992), 'Zamaana Deewana' (1995).

As vice president of the Indian Film Directors Association B R Ishara told UNI ''It is a great loss to the industry. He was one of the best filmmakers we had and he made some of the best films ever.

As a producer and director both. He was a person who thought big and his demise has left a huge void in the industry.'' When spoken to some character artistes, they said ''He has left some rather large shoes which people will have to fit into.'' UNI

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