Mumbai: The death of liquor baron and film distributor Ponty Chadha is a major blow to Bollywood. Many movie producers and directors worked closely with Chadha in the past.
At least 6-7 prominent filmmakers were in serious negotiations with Chadha over big-budget projects which would now have to seek a different outlet for financial sustenance now. Apparently Bollywood financier Bharat Shah was the last person from the Hindi film industry to have negotiated with Ponty Chadha. Bharat Shah has major financial stakes in director Anand Kumar's Sanjay Dutt-Arshad Warsi-Vivek Oberoi production 'Zilla Ghazibad'.
Shah was to fly to Delhi Saturday, the day tragedy struck Ponty Chadha's life to screen the film for Chadha who showed a keen interest in the distribution of the film.
Barely an hour before Ponty was to view 'Zilla Ghaziabad' he was shot dead. Confirming this, the 'Zilla Ghaziabad' producer Vinod Bachchan said: "Bharat bhai is closely involved with my film. He was in serious negotiation with Ponty Chadhaji for the worldwide distribution of our film."
"On Friday evening at around 7 pm. Bharat bhai spoke to Ponty Chadhaji about screening our film for his viewing. On Saturday morning our representatives flew into Delhi with the film. Our appointment was at 4 pm. Our representatives were waiting at his office for Pontyji when the shocking news came at 3.30 pm."
Bachchan says Ponty Chadha's death is a serious setback not just for his film but to entire film industry. "It's a big blow for our film 'Zilla Ghaziabad' but also for the film industry. Pontyji was closely associated with many big projects involving huge financial stakes. It would be really difficult to find someone to replace his high level of financial commitment to our films."