Viacom 18 have unveiled the trailer to the most eagerly-anticipated film of 2013, a film to mark the occasion of the Bollywood centenary that is unlike any collaboration previously seen in the first 100 years of Indian cinema.
'Bombay Talkies' is a series of 20-minute short films, written and directed by Karan Johar, Anurag Kashyap, Zoya Akhtar and Dibarkar Bannerjee; arguably the finest contemporary filmmakers in Bollywood representing the very best industry traditions, from the glitzy mainstream to edgy independent cinema.
Mirroring the eclectic collection of directors helming the project, the films feature an equally diverse star cast from elder statesman Amitabh Bachchan and veteran beauty Rani Mukherjee to the glam Katrina Kaif and actors actor Nawazzuddin Siddiqui.
The as-yet-untitled, 20-minute shorts, the directors say, is not an exercise in nostalgia nor a simple celebration of the 100 years since Dadasaheb Phalke made 'Raja Harishchandra'.
Rather 'Bombay Talkies' will be an exploration of what cinema means to each of them and the impact Bollywood has on the everyday lives of India's masses.
"100 years of Bollywood is the right occasion to make an anthology like this", says Anurag Kashyap.
"Each individual film comes from somewhere within us and it is all about the impact of cinema on our everyday lives", he added.
Quite apart from the acting and directing talent involved in the films, 'Bombay Talkies' has caused great excitement because of a number of other highly emotive elements.
Karan Johar - a man known for his extravagant filmmaking style - whilst bemoaning the fact the directors were givena strict, shoestring budget to make each film, has declared his 9-day shoot as "the most amazing" of his career.
His short film also sees the director re-uniting with his former muse Rani Mukherjee, playing a journalist.
Anurag Kashyap's film deals with a fan who is obsessed with Amitabh Bachchan and the director filmed extensively at 'Prateeksha' the Mumbai home of the actor who, just a couple of years previously, wasn't even on talking terms with the Dev D director before a much-publicized reconciliation and acknowledgment of each other's importance to contemporary Bollywood cinema.
Dibarkar Bannerjee, the director of the outstanding 'Love, Sex Aur Dhoka' and 'Shanghai', has directed Nawazzudin Siddiqui in a father-son story, ironically enough, about a struggling actor in Mumbai.
Siddiqui is the hottest acting talent in Bollywood at the moment, having burst onto the scene with career defining roles in 'Gangs of Wasseypur', 'Talaash' and 'Kahaani' but not before he had struggled fruitlessly for years.
'Bombay Talkies' is released May 03, 2013.
- Poonam Joshi