Yash Chopra conferred French award

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New Delhi, Jul 6: Film-maker Yash Chopra, who has been honoured with 'Officer de la Legion d'Honneur'-- the highest French civilian award-- has asked the French authorities to open the doors for Indian films and called for a joint script workshop based in Mumbai.

''I request the Ambassador to use his good office to open doors for Indian films in France and I will do my best to get French films released in India,'' Mr Chopra told a press conference after receiving the award from French Ambassador Jerome Bonnafont last evening. Announcing his new films, Mr Chopra said 'Bachna Ai Haseenon'' will be released on August 15 and 'Roadside Romeo'-- a full-length animation-- on Diwali.

The Legion of Honour award was bestowed on Mr Chopra for promoting cultural exchanges and Indian cinema in the world, putting him in the league of such greats as Satyajit Ray, Amitabh Bachchan and Steven Spielberg.

''Facilities should also be given to Indian film-makers to make films based in France,'' he said and added that an Indian film had only locational shots of Paris.

The director of alltime greats, such as 'Deewaar', Trishul', 'Waqt' and 'Dil to Pagal Hai', also called for a script workshop, based in Mumbai, with contributions from the two countries.

''There is no dearth of talent... What we are lacking is a good script,'' he said and added that the workshop could be held every 1-3 months.

''There is intellectual bankruptcy in Indian films.... I get a bad story, I make a bad film,'' he said, laughingly.

''We should combine our forces in an artistic way,'' he said, to which the Ambassador said the French authorities would consider it ''very seriously''.

Mr Chopra reminisced his journey from Jullander to Bollywood and gave all the credit to his brother and film director B R Chopra for his success.

''An award is not the end of a career, but a beginning of a new responsibility,'' he said.

Mr Bonnafont described Mr Chopra as an embodiment of Indian cinema, Bollywood in particular, who had always been helpful in building bridges between the Indian and the French entertainment industries.

UNI

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