Filmmaker Sooraj Barjatya, who is known for his family drama films, considers it a challenge to make films in this genre in today's time. The 52-year-old director, who has been a part of the Bollywood for over 25 years, says it family dramas have become 'rare.' He considers this genre to be his 'specialisation.' Speaking to news agency IANS, Sooraj Barjatya said: "At Rajshri Productions, we have tried all kinds of films. We have done modern films, tried actions films, we have even done daaku films, but none of them have actually worked, except for good, aesthetic family dramas."
"Actually we have realised, that maybe we are not attuned to make something else. There is something in our banner that people only come to see family-based films. I see it as a specialisation," he added.
Sooraj Barjatya has directed superhit films such as - Maine Pyar Kiya, Hum Aapke Hain Koun!, Hum Saath Saath Hain and Prem Ratan Dhan Payo. He says that people look up to his work when they are in a mood to watch such movies.
Sooraj Barjatya told IANS: "We stand out amongst the crowd and today as I grow older, I feel more and more responsible that somewhere we only need to make good family films because they are rare today. That's a big challenge - how to really make films with good values which can be really understood by today's youth."
Talking about his upcoming TV show Piyaa Albela, the filmmaker said: "Piyaa Albela as a subject has been with me and my production house for about eight years and we have been growing up with it." He added: "So when I was reading Vishvamitra and Menaka's story, I was thinking that Menaka as a character was so bad - she came and spoiled the tapasya of Vishvamitra. But when I read that story, I realised that no I was wrong as she fell in love with him."
Sooraj Barjatya also clarified that his show is not based on Vishvamitra and Menaka's story. He said: "This character (of Menaka) remained very close to me. Piyaa Albela has nothing to do with Vishvamitra and Menaka. It's a today's story. Piyaa Albela is a homage to Vishvamitra and Menaka."
On being asked why he didn't consider making Piyaa Albela a movie, he told IANS: "If we look at the statistics, TV industry's turnover is bigger than films. And not only in India, but all over the world. So, TV is something which is very much a part of Indian society and for us, who are essentially family drama makers, TV is such a boon because today if we see watching films for a family is very costly."
"Even films are doing very well on satellite today. It's very much the mainstay of so many technicians, actors and writers. The kind of employment this industry is giving is tremendous," he added.
Elaborating about the show's concept, Mr Barjatya told IANS: "Today if you notice, there is so much of spirituality amongst youngsters. When I was young, people used to call me pagal (mad). Today everyone has so many questions. That's why I feel it is the correct time to make something which has spirituality at its base."
Piyaa Albela is scheduled to go on air from March 6. The show will feature Akshay Mhatre and Sheen Dass in lead roles.
He also spoke about casting newcomers as lead in his show. He said: "Piyaa Albela as a subject requires innocence. We needed a boy, who is into spirituality, is very innocent and has no image."Barjatya added: "We needed the boy to bring in freshness and not spoiled by the today's world. So any big star coming with an image is not going to give us that."
Sooraj Barjatya is also busy penning down the script for his next Bollywood venture with Salman Khan.
He told IANS: "Actually I am working on the script right now, so it will be too early to talk about that project right now."
(With IANS inputs)