New Delhi: Industrialist-politician T Subbarami Reddy, who produced Hindi films like `Vijay`, `Chandni` and `Lamhe`, today, announced a national award in memory of filmaker Yash Chopra to be given to an outstanding film personality each year.
"In my friend`s memory, I want to constitute Yash Chopra National Memorial Award. It consists of Rs 10 lakh and a citation. The award will be given to an outstanding film personality every year by TSR foundation," said Reddy, a Congress leader who was a close friend of Chopra for three decades.
Describing Chopra as a great filmmaker, the Rajya Sabha MP told reporters here that the award is likely to be given on Chopra`s death anniversary. The Bollywood icon died in Mumbai on October 21.
Recalling his friendship with Chopra dating back to `Silsila` days, Reddy said Chopra continued to direct hit films for almost 60 years because he understood the audience`s pulse.
"In 1981, `Silsila` screened in my Hyderabad theatre Maheshwari Parmeshwari. Though the film did not do that well in other parts of the country, we celebrated silver jubilee in Hyderabad. I met Yashji during that time and we became great friends. It was a 31-year-old friendship," he said.
Reddy is credited with helping Chopra at a time when the filmmaker was disheartened as several of his films failed at the box office in the 80s post-`Silsila`.
"After `Silsila`, Mashaal` and `Faasle` did not do well. His confidence took a dip. We decided to join our luck together to make `Vijay` in 1988. The film was a success and we went on to make hits like `Chandni` and `Lamhe`," he said.
The 69-year-old national award-winning filmmaker said he was shocked to hear about Chopra`s death just weeks before the release of his last film `Jab Tak Hai Jaan`.
"I had spoken to him just 10 days before his death, inviting him and Shah Rukh Khan to inaugurate Maheshwari Parmeshwari as a multiplex. He had agreed to come before the release of his latest film," Reddy said.
Recalling the aspects that made Chopra a great filmmaker, Reddy said his friend was always ready with new stories and big stars were ready to work with him forless money.
"The biggest dream of his life was to make a studio and he fulfilled it," he said.
Reddy produced some 12 Telugu films and worked with actors like Rajinikanth, Chiranjeevi, Venkatesh and D Ramanaidu. Apart from Chopra`s films, he produced `Dilwale` for Ramanaidu and won the National Award for producing first Sanskrit film `Bhagvat Gita` and English-Hindi film `Swamy Vivekananda.