KOCHI: The entrepreneur-turned-filmmaker Sohan Roy remembers bunking school for the first and only time as a child to watch the shoot of India's first 3D film, 'My Dear Kuttichathan'. "I was so enamoured by the process that cinema simply refused to leave my radar thereafter," says Roy.
The passion for celluloid pushed him to make 'Dam 999', a Hollywood project known for its technological excellence. He spent three years polishing the work, employed technologies that were until-then unheard of, but what he saw on the screen was a huge disappointment.
"It was not my 'Dam999'. And nothing similar to what I had envisaged. I needed a long break to get over it," says Roy, the founder chairman and CEO of the Aries Group of Companies.
He knew the screens in Kerala were not advanced enough to project his movie, with all its brilliance, and that set him on a mission, 'Project Indywood', to identify the ills of the movie industry.
And Roy's latest is Epica, a VFX studio at Technopark, which boasts of a five-level security system and services that could compete with any Hollywood studio.
Epica has already signed a pact with the famous Hollywood studio Dreamworks and is in the process of taking up huge projects. "Epica will be at par with any Hollywood studio. We will show the potential of the market," says Roy.
Setting up Epica follows the line of launching Aries Multiplexes all over the country.
"The first step was setting up multiplexes in Thiruvananthapuram. Aries is the only multiplex in India which boasts of double 4k projection and sound-calibrated technology. You can experience cinema there. Half the collection from 'Bahubali' in Kerala was from Aries in Thiruvananthapuram. Soon, Kochi will have one," says Roy.
He has also acquired Vismaya Max studio, with a 99 percent stake, while the remaining one remains with actor Mohanlal.
"If cinema has to change, every sphere has to undergo change, from theatres to post-production to the cameras used. Another step was the first edition of the All Lights International Film Festival, that was unveiled in Kochi last year. It opened to a tremendous response." says Roy.
This year, he is planning to up the ante, by conducting the next edition of the All Lights festival at Ramoji Film City at Hyderabad, from Septmeber 24-27. "I am sure it is going to be a mega event, with the whole-hearted support from the Telegana government," he says.
Roy adds that he is planning 'Totion Theatres' in Kerala where the syllabi will be visualised and made into a film with audio tracks of different languages.
"Project Indywood conceptualises many such projects. It is only a matter of time before such innovations become a reality. My aim is to give Indian movies a huge fillip. These films have a market share of 40 per cent yet it stands nowhere near Hollywood. This needs to change," says Roy.