Tuesday, September 27, 2011

DNA NEWS: Bollywood welcomes its zombies and vampires

Published: Monday, Sep 26, 2011, 9:01 IST
By Sayantan Dalal | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA

Horror was always with Bollywood, but now it’s being taken a step further. Just like the teen Twilight and Underworld movies which focus on vampire and werewolves, now, it seems Bollywood is waking up to this genre. With two films on zombies and one film on vampires set to release next year, B-Town is all geared up to unleash the blood sucking nocturnal beings and the flesh eating dead on us.

Three films that are going to set this new trend in India are the Abhay Deol starrer Shaadi of the Dead, the Saif Ali Khan starrer Go Goa Gone (both zombie flicks) and the vampire flick Bloody Veer.

So, are Indian audiences ready for this kind of film? “Why not? It’s an innovative thing and people are aware of it thanks to some popular flicks in the West. Films like these bring risky and edgy stuff to the table. We are confident that the zombies and vampires are here to stay and will soon become an integral part of India’s pop culture,” film producer Sidhartha Jain explains.

Bloody Veer is possibly the desi answer to the cult Twilight series. According to our sources, the producers of Bloody Veer are in talks with four actors who might don the vampire avatar: Ranbir Kapoor, Imran Khan, Prateik and Ali Zafar.

“The producers are looking for some young talented actors. Right now they are currently in talks with Ranbir, Imran, Prateik and Ali. They will soon finalise on one of them to play the role of vampire Veer,” says a source.

Says trade analyst Taran Adarsh, “Bollywood is exploiting this new genre. After all times are changing, andfilmmakers are keeping the youth, who make up almost 70% of audience, in mind when making such films. It’s a welcome change.”

Sunday, September 18, 2011

‘Indian youth is not just ready for a zombie film, it is demanding one’

‘Indian youth is not just ready for a zombie film, it is demanding one’

Siddharth Jain, the man behind Ragini MMS and now Shaadi of the Dead, India’s first zombie film, offers film writer Mayank Tewari a peek into his forthcoming zombie graphic novel and why he thinks Indian audiences are ready to blow some heads. Edited Excerpts:

Walking among the dead Siddharth Jain, producer of Shaaadi of the Dead

Sidharth Jain is obsessed with the idea of doing it first. Otherwise, there’s no fun, says the CEO of iRock. “I am now working on a swimsuit calendar which will be a first of its kind product,” Jain reveals as we settle down for a chat at a busy vegetarian joint in the film industry part of Andheri West, Mumbai. In the film writing circles of Bollywood, Sidharth Jain, or Sid, is known as the man who hires writers and pays them for developing film projects.

Zombie talkies Graphic novels are a rage among the youth and consequently, a perfect visual medium to acquaint them with the genre

What is your graphic novel about?
Bloodfest is Bollywood will be out in October. The idea is to introduce zombies to the young audiences in the most natural way so that when they come and watch our film next summer, they readily recognise the genre. Zombies were first introduced to the world through comics so a graphic novel is, perhaps, the most logical choice. The medium is very youth centric and has a visual appeal that whets the appetite for an Indian zombie film.

Why a graphic novel?
It is a perfect visual medium to acquaint the audiences with the genre. Graphic novels are a rage among the youth and since we’ve never had an Indian graphic novel with zombies in it I thought of creating a zombie graphic novel.

Why zombies?
It’s not just about zombies, but vampires and superheroes too. I want to push the creative boundaries of entertainment for the youth in our country.

What attracts the youth? In your opinion, which is the best way to tell a story to an audience that is increasingly getting impatient with what it’s watching?
After founding iRock in 2008 I was obsessed with such problems. I looked to the West for some possible solutions. On one such trip I attended the world’s biggest comic book convention, the Comic Con festival, in San Diego and got some clues as to what will work in India. Indian audiences want to see an Indian vampire film or an Indian zombie film and they’re not just ready, but demanding it. Look at the huge success of zombie video games and TV shows in the country.

Do you really think all this will work in India?

What makes you so confident?
Past experiences. When I was making Ragini MMS, I faced similar reactions. Initially people were sceptical if found footage would work in India but a week before the release everyone had switched sides. Now everyone wants to make a low budget, high concept film like Ragini MMS. I believe there is a good receptive young audience that wants to sample new products. If we cannot match their expectations, we cannot blame them.

What is your zombie film about?
The film is called Shaadi of the Dead and we’re calling it a zom-com (zombie comedy). It is being directed by Navdeep Singh and has Abhay Deol and Genelia D’Souza as leads. It is going to be, among other things, India’s first zombie film.

Do you have a weakness for ‘first of its kind’ tag?
One doesn’t think of it like that. I think it is a consequence of trying to push the limits of what exists around us in terms of entertainment. When one tries and does that for years at a stretch one is bound to leave a trail of ‘first of its kind’ stories. I call myself a compulsive entrepreneur. If I think something will work, I will try and make it work with all my resources. One might fail but to be a serial entrepreneur one has to learn to overcome the fear of failure.

Tell us some of your firsts.
I started the world’s first website dedicated to Bollywood memorabilia (bollywoodauction.com) in 2000. The site was bought by baazi.com, which was later purchased by ebay. I also co-produced Marigold, a romantic musical comedy was a first of its kind film with Salman Khan. The latest project to add to this list is Ragini MMS, India’s first found footage horror film.


"I want to lead the change of the new wave of films in India" - Sid Jain

"I want to lead the change of the new wave of films in India" - Sid Jain


By Devansh Patel, September 15, 2011 - 16:32 IST

The man thinks mad. Ok, let's put it this way - the man thinks out of the box. How about - the man thinks mad, out of the box and trippy. IROCK CEO Sid Jain is hell bent on changing the way movies are conceived and are made in Indian cinema. Talk Ragini MMS and you know what audiences were in for. And believe you me; this man isn't going to just stop here. He's taking imagination to an altogether bizarre level, only for the good. Coming up is IROCK's and Navdeep Singh's Shaadi Of The Dead, India's first ever Zombie movie. Ok, so you know about the film right? Ok ok, how about I tell you India's first ever Zombie comic book 'Bloodfest in Bollywood'. There's this whole Pandora's Box that, if opened, we might just drop our jaws for good. UK's Harrow Observer columnist brings you Sid Jain's out of the box mind and movies. It's a Bollywood Hungama exclusive!

With so many Bollywood movies coming up with the same cliché themes / stories / etc and working at the box office, isn't IROCK taking risks by making genres never attempted in Bollywood?
Risk and edginess is what's going to work with the audiences. Ragini MMS, Delhi Belly are examples. Also, we have the youngest, youth audience in the world. Young people take risks; that's what gives them the edginess and that's what I want to give them, via our films. Risk is fun.

Ragini MMS was a good example of 'out of the box' cinema. And with your zombie movie Shaadi Of The Dead too you're going one step further. Are these safe bets at the box office though?
Very safe and I proved it with Ragini. With all our films, we weave new concepts around familiarity with characters and situations. If its zombie, it's a wedding. With Bloody Veer, we have a very, very solid Indian connect.

How do you describe the word 'edgy' when it comes to the type of movies you are making? Edgy not in genres but content.
Edgy means pushing the envelope in terms of characters, dialogues and visuals. Stretching comedy and sexuality. Talking about things that were forbidden earlier. I think adult content will break through the roof in India, in the next 3-5 years.

With low budget movies considered to be a safer bet, how do you justify Chaand 2013's budget? Will it be a more expensive bet than Ra-One?
More than the budget, I think it's the idea that should be big. Chaand 2013 has huge amounts of unseen on the Indian screen kind of action, visuals, which need scale that is literally, out of the world. The audiences will throng the theatres to see it in 3D stereo. Am supremely confident of the product. If the content compels the audiences to see it with a sense of urgency, irrespective of the reason, films will work. By 2013 a huge amount of digital screens will make Chaand 2013, the most awaited film of that year.

How edgy, diverse and mad can Bollywood go in terms of sex, comedy, gore and action?
Sex edginess will grow slowly due to censorship, but will mature for sure. Gore and action will push the envelope faster and will grab the youth. If you look at the kind of video games today's young kids play, you will know what I mean.

We also hear that you're coming up with the first of its kind vampire movie? Could you throw some light on it?
Sure. Bloody Veer is our next film that goes on the floors in the next few months. It is going to be cool, sexy, fun with a dose of action. We are currently locking the script and will soon announce a very, very exciting cast. It's gonna sweep the nation next year.

Let us know of this new innovative marketing you're doing for Shaadi Of The Dead - a zombie comic.
Too early to comment. We have a marketing genius partner, Ekta Kapoor, so I am not worried.

Are you confident that the different strategies you're applying to take Bollywood places will pay off?
Of course. It's opening doors for new talent in terms of writers, directors and actors. Audiences change faster than we imagine and the results are showing. The Indian film industry is a great platform for talent to bloom and I want to lead the change of the new wave of films in India, hopefully.

Breaking In tomorrow: 2 exclusive posters of IROCK's upcoming movies only on Bollywood Hungama

GRAPHIC NOVEL - "ZOMBIE TALKIES - Bloodfest in Bollywood"

ANDAZ NAYA NAYA - First Look Poster

BLOODY VEER - First Look Poster

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Saif, Abhay in Battle of the Zombies

By Subhash K. Jha, July 2, 2011 - 14:06 IST

Indian audiences' fascination with ghosts, spectres and ghouls will now be extended into zombies. So far, films about zombies have not been a part of Indian cinema's horror culture. But now two filmmakers - the Shor- In the City co-directors Raj Nidimoru and Krishna DK and the Manorama 6 Feet Under director Navdeep Singh - have decided to make what the think would be India's first Zombie thriller.

Unknown to Nidimoru and Krishna and their producer Saif Ali Khan is the fact that another producer has hit upon the same idea. Zombie-land it is for the Abhay Deol starrer Shaadi Of The Dead to be directed by Navdeep Singh.

While the Kunal Khemu starrer Go Goa Gone is about a bunch of youngsters out to have fun who get assailed in zombies, the Abhay deol starrer Shaadi Of The Dead is about an attack by zombies while a full-on Punjabi wedding is on.

Both the projects want to take a lighter look at the cult of zombies.

Interestingly, both the projects want to get on with their respective Zombie shows on the floor immediately. Each one wants to be the first Zombie film in the theatres and efforts to the shooting started and completed ASAP are on.

While Kunal Khemu who plays the lead in Go Goa Gone feigns ignorance of the other project the Shaadi Of The Dead, producer Sid Jain says he's aware of the other project. "More films will help widen the genre, so I'm happy someone else is attempting a zombie film. But I plan to make a series of zombie flicks. In fact even before Shaadi Of The Dead has gone on the floors, we've already planned the sequel Honeymoon Of The Dead."

Thursday, June 23, 2011

VARIETY: iRock greenlights 'Chaand 2013'

iRock greenlights 'Chaand 2013'
Anthony D'Souza to helm sci-fi action adventure pic


LONDON -- Indian shingle iRock Films has greenlit sci-fi action adventure film "Chaand 2013," which will be directed by Anthony D'Souza.
The $20 million budgeted pic will see major Mumbai landmarks under attack from aliens.

Principal photography will start mid-2012 with a view to a summer 2013 release. The film will be in both regular and 3D formats.

Casting is underway, with iRock looking at leading Bollywood and Tamil- or Telugu-language film stars to play the two male leads.

Sidhartha Jain, whose credits include Willard Carroll's "Marigold," will produce for iRock.

Jain told Variety, "Anthony is one of the few directors in India who has the right skills for executing a large VFX action-adventure."

D'Souza's directorial debut, 2009's aquatic adventure "Blue," grossed $13.5 million.

Contact the Variety newsroom at news@variety.com

"CHAAND 2013" - Exclusive Look at the Pre-Viz Trailer Shots

iRock unveils "CHAAND 2013" by Anthony D'Souza

Friday, February 11, 2011

After Ragini MMS, Sid Jain announces his next film Shaadi Of The Dead

After Ragini MMS, Sid Jain announces his next film Shaadi Of The Dead
By Devansh Patel, February 11, 2011 - 13:42 IST

It's wedding season throughout India and what better day to bring you this news story than today. A month ago you were informed on iRock and Sid Jain's speedy production of Ragini MMS and his association with his new formed team of directors who will be directing films under iRock.

As I'd love to call Sid, this Speedy Gonzales is showing no signs of taking it easy. iRock and Sid Jain have just announced their next film to go on floor after Ragini MMS. After branching into horror, Sid and company have come up with a complete contrast. His next production is titled Shaadi Of The Dead, a mad, crazy and romantic comedy that unfolds like a fun roller coaster ride, with a bunch of zombies.

Invite - Shaadi Of The Dead, Invitees - Zombies and the Venue has been finalised too. The film is set in the yamla-pagla land - Punjab.

Navdeep Singh, the director of Manorama Six Feet Under is held responsible to handle the marriage. In other words, he is the director of the film.

On further enquiry, Sid Jain tells me, "Firstly, let me make this clear that the illustration you are looking at isn't the final poster of the film. It's a basic font for the purpose of creating the final poster of Shaadi Of The Dead. I am very proud to be the producer of India's first zombie-comedy film. It's going to be an iconic 'youth' film, as far as I am concerned, and will redefine youth entertainment for this decade in India. It's mad, crazy, romantic, funny, violent and super cool. It's like a 2 hour theme park ride."

What ritual does a married couple go through after their marriage? The answer - Honeymoon. And what has the word 'Honeymoon' got to do with Shaadi Of The Dead? Well, in the words of Sid Jain, "We've already started work on the sequel story - 'Honeymoon Of The Dead', and a 50 page zombie-comedy graphic novel 'Bollywood of the Dead' is ready to be printed and released in the summer of 2011. This will also be adapted into a film next year."

And if surprises have got a synonym, it has to be Sid. Mr. Jain further shocks me by informing, "We are also working on a crazy-zombie reality TV show soon and launching an Indian zombie website by the end of this year. It's a complete franchise property for iRock."

And as he ends his answer, he pauses, recalls, and utters, "The writing team of Shaadi Of The Dead and Honeymoon Of The Dead is the one that also wrote Ragini MMS"

The star cast of Shaadi Of The Dead will be announced in a few weeks. Watch this space!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Follow "Ragini MMS" on Twitter

iRock Update

Mumbai, December 10, 2010.

iRock, Bollywood's most exciting developer and producer of high concept, youthful, commercial hindi feature films, recently announced their first production "Ragini MMS". The film is being co produced with ALT Entertainment, owned by Ekta Kapoor's Balaji Telefilms Ltd.

In addition to "Ragini MMS", iRock will soon start production on "Shaadi of the Dead" which will be directed by Navdeep Singh ("Manorma Six Feet Under") and another film with Sriram Raghavan ("Johny Gaddaar") after he finishes "Agent Vinod". The animated version of "Andaz Apna Apna" is well on its way and the first look of the film in 3D Stereo will be unveiled in a few weeks. Two more films with new directors are being readied to be shot in early and mid 2011.

"We are clearly focussed on the 16-35 age group and want to make compelling content for the audiences. iRock has an exciting slate for 2011-12, which has been possible only due to the extensive development that we have been doing since the last 3 years. We have toiled and developed more than 15 projects across various genres", said Sidhartha M Jain, Producer and CEO of iRock Media Pvt Ltd. "We have recently signed a multi-film deal with a leading studio and media conglomerate, which will be announced later this week", said Jain.

iRock will also start work on its chick-flick based on a successful comic-thriller novel called "Krishnas Konfessions". iRock has also been working with Shekhar Kapur since the past one year on the development of "Paani", his next international film.

iRock is headed by Sidhartha M Jain and co-owned by Mr Manmohan Shetty, now Chairman of the Walkwater group.

For details contact sid@irockindia.com

Monday, May 17, 2010

Paani Press Briefing at Cannes May, 2010

iRock Update

Irock has completed an intensive 2 years of focussed film development and is now jumping into it's production cycle.

We are proud to be handling the line production for Shekhar Kapur's next international film "PAANI".

From our development slate, the following films are being prepped to go into production in the next 12 months -

1. Shaadi of the Dead
2. Untitled - Adult Horror
3. Malegaon Ka Sooperhero
4. Kkrishnaa's Konfessions (Novel)
5. Chaand
6. Size Zero
7. Love Candy
8. Say Ram Say Ram
9. Andaz Apna Apna - Animated Sequel
10. Bloody Veer

Also, look out for our graphic novel - "Bollywood of the Dead".

More specific announcements to be made shortly.


Wednesday, February 03, 2010

What am I upto?

Get regular updates on me & iRock on my Facebook page. Just click.

Thursday, March 13, 2008


A ‘rocking’ company makes its debut in bollywood. 

Manmohan Shetty makes private equity investment in iRock Media.

March, 2008.

 Making its debut this month, is a brand new boutique film development & production company - iRock Media Pvt Ltd. The company is founded by Sidhartha M Jain, who  who  headed the Animation Division at Adlabs Films Ltd. .

 Mr Manmohan Shetty, founder & former CMD of Adlabs Films Ltd, is an angel investor & Chairman of iRock. Mr. Shetty said “I am very excited by the project slate of iRock and believe the company will soon create it’s own niche in the Indian film industry. The Indian film industry is in constant flux and an innovative content development approach is required to cater to the ever demanding Indian audiences”.

 Founder & CEO, Sidhartha Jain added “I am very excited to have Mr. Shetty as a mentor & investor in this company. It is a dream opportunity and provides us with a fantastic platform. We will be producing ‘visually exciting’ content and want to be known for specific kind of content. iRock will invest in development of  ‘high-concept’ film content in live-action & animation for the Indian audiences. The focus will be on technology dependent content which will be rich in animation and visual effects. Care will be taken to ensure a wide 360 degree exploitation plan for all our intellectual properties. Currently we have an exciting slate of 8 projects, of which 2 are animation and 6 are live-action with VFX/animation”.

 The company ‘s 1st animated feature film will be going into production  in April. The film is slated for release in 2009 & is the first one as part of a series of films based on the franchise. Details to be announced shortly.

 The 2nd animated film is a sequel to & based on bollywood’s cult comedy “Andaz Apna Apna”. The new script is currently being developed & a renowned bollywood comedy director will soon be attached.

 In the live-action-vfx slate, “Zudora” will go in production this year. The film is based on the popular book by the same name and is a fantasy-magical-adventure set in the mysterious world of “Zudora”. This too is a franchise property which will be exploited across mediums.

 Apart from “Zudora”, there are a couple of VFX dependent films currently in development. One of them is a fantasy-magical-war film, of epic proportions set in a parallel world.

 Comedy is another genre that iRock will focus on in live-action. They will be primarily in the mid-budget range and will introduce a couple of new directors.

 Specific project announcements to be made shortly.


 For more details contact –

 Sidhartha Jain at sid@irockindia.com 

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Sid Jain Launches New Film Development & Production Company

Formal Announcement on Projects & Investors in March 2008. Website coming soon!

Contact -
iRock Media Pvt Ltd

Tuesday, July 24, 2007



American actress Marigold (Ali Larter) is stranded in Bombay after her latest film is pulled. Soon though, the bitchy star is back in front of the camera when she's cast in a Bollywood movie.


East meets West and emerges triumphant in this sweetly sardonic love story.
B-movie actress and grade-A bitch Marigold (Ali Larter) is stranded in Bombay after her latest film is halted. She is cast in a Bollywood film, where hunky dance coach Prem (Bollywood megastar Salman Khan) teaches her about more than just where to put your feet.
Writer/director Willard Carroll obviously loves Bollywood, portraying it with wit rather than the usual stereotyping. The inevitability of the plotting is lightened by flashes of sharp humour, top-notch dancing and Bollywood romance. The final half-hour may not know what to do with itself, but Marigold still brings the sassy back.

The final half hour may lose its way but this remains a sassy and endearing romantic effort

Reviewer: Kat Brown