Ramesh Sippy’s epic buddy action film “Sholay” failed to impress audiences when it came out in 1975. Almost 40 years later, the movie is an integral part of Indian pop culture. The film is now being released in 3D amid much acrimony.
Sippy went to court against his nephews who own the rights to the film. His nephew, Sascha Sippy, who runs Sippy Films, said that his uncle didn’t have any rights to the film, and did not have a say in whether the film could be released.
The Bombay High Court rejected Ramesh Sippy’s order, clearing the way for the new version. Sascha Sippy spoke to Reuters about the feud, why he decided to release the film in 3D and how he plans to take the “Sholay” franchise forward. Responses have been lightly edited.
When did you think of converting Sholay into 3D? Also, why 3D? Why not just restore it?
The original idea was to restore the film and give it a longer lease of life, but at a certain point, the relevance of the film to new generations came into question, and we felt very strongly that this film should not become irrelevant. It’s on our heads to protect it, take care of it. It is a big part of Indian cinematic history and there’s a responsibility to make sure that goes on. 3D has become very popular. We started talking to people about it and realised it would be too expensive – around $15-$16 million. It was unaffordable.