Producer of the Indo-American venture WILL TO LIVE Amrit Das is a first-generation NRI went to US in 1966 to purse higher education in engineering. His successful track record began in 1978 when he created the first version of STAAD-III software, now the world's leading general-purpose structural engineering software.
Realizing the immense commercial potential of the Information Technology industry, Amrit diversified into the areas of Internet, e-commerce, Digital Media and IT products and services to develop into NetGuru, Inc. – an Information Technology company specializing in Internet related products and services. Under Amrit's leadership, NetGuru, Inc. became a public company listed in the NASDAQ stock exchange in 1996. In recognition of his achievements the California Chamber of Commerce recognized Amrit as their Man of the Year in 1996. Later he moved into television and films, an activity that is expanding and reaping rich fruits of labour. Now his first feature film WILL TO LIVE in English and Hindi is releasing on 12 August 2011.
From the business of internet and e-commerce to entertainment- what prompted you to shift?
I have always had passion for media and this has what brought me to film making. I have already produced a number of productions for Television in US and Indian market. My love for my own country has brought me back and recent surge of Bollywood industry in the world market fascinated me. I have already made Bengali films but this is our first Bollywood film. As a global entrepreneur I believe that one day Bollywood industry will take over Hollywood and India will dominate the world entertainment business.
From where did the story idea come for WILL TO LIVE?
WILL TO LIVE is inspired by the true stories of the families suffering from the killer diseases. On the personal front too, I have experienced the pain of this disease very closely. The helplessness of people around the patient, the lack of treatment in spite of advancement of science, the frustrations and sometimes the strong desire to do anything to find a solution. I decided to give hope to others suffering from this problem and dilemma. My motto in life is Never to give up hope and a WILL TO LIVE. They are the inspiration for the film.
Why did you bring the story to India?
Only in Indian Culture hope is eternal. In west, everything is analyzed and that breaks the human connectivity on emotional front. The idea behind WILL TO LIVE is eternal hope. It is in times of duress when the true character of man is seen through his courage and he shows his mettle. WILL TO LIVE builds on this and shows Father's strength to combat all adversity. Since we also have elements of Ayurveda, India is the natural destination. And last but not the least, I am an Indian, so where else could I take my story!
There have been other joint ventures too. What is unique about yours?
This film is truly a combined effort because the mix of technicians and star cast is perfect. Although I produce it, I am a NRI and I have produced it from Hollywood under my international company's banner. In a way WILL TO LIVE is first commercial movie from Hollywood to come as a Bollywood film. With a combined effort of Hollywood and Bollywood is the first.
What about the music of the film? Bollywood films are known for their music.
Music of the film is wonderful. Bappi Lahiri has given very Indian music. He has taken singers like Asha Bhosle; other voices of Sunidhi Chauhan, Kumar Sanu and Sharon Prabhakar. There is an amazing song sung by a top international singer. We have just recorded a remixed version of Sunidhi by Mamta. For the first time in India, English and Hindi songs have blended together in one Album of WILL TO LIVE.
Who are the star cast of the film? Any known names from Hindi film industry?
It stars Geoffrey Broderick, Anusha Singh, Erik Altemus, Arjun Chakraborty, Subhasis Mukherjee. And no, we have not bothered to take established Bollywood actor. This film did not require any name because story is such. In fact we recently shot a promotional music video but we took only models. The video is shot by jai ho fame choreographer Longinus Fernandez but we did not need stars to perform. Next film will be hard core Bollywood film with stars.
Is the film only in English?
No. WILL TO LIVE is in English and Hindi both. We are targeting the entire Diaspora because everybody is in need of hope in life. The message is of eternal hope. In WILL TO LIVE, a father must battle all the odds to save his only son from cancer. To do this, he needs to come to India, fight against the opposition, go against his doctor's advice, administer the natural herb to his son and so on. In all this the singular message is a message of hope. One must never lose hope.
Any other projects?
Yes we do have. They are from the mainstream Hindi cinema. We will be making the appropriate announcement soon.