There are many film producers who are from Maharashtra but have contributed more towards Bollywood than from the Marathi movie industry. Akshay Bardapurkar, the moving spirit behind Planet Marathi – the Marathi entertainment industry’s biggest digital platform – begs to differ.

Bardapurkar who helped Marathi films reach out to audiences through his digital platform called Planet Marathi says they need a bigger Ark to take them through a flood of film releases.

“Marathi actors are also in Bollywood and they are referred to as Bollywood stars at times – there are people like Madhuri Dixit, Urmila Matondkar, Nana Patekar, Amruta Khanvilkar, Shreyas Talpade and Riteish Deshmukh to name a few. But then barring them few take pride in being called a Marathi movie star. We got a film like Sairat which was a blockbuster across the country. But we will need a film like Baahubali to get into the big league,” says the man.

Bardapurkar who bills himself as a producer, philanthropist, producer and internet expert, not necessarily in that order, wants the Marathi film industry to make a larger than life film to ensure that Maharashtrians feel proud of their legacy and the ability to make what the rest of India can. “Everything is being done in Mumbai. So why not in Marathi?” says Bardapurkar.

Bardapurkar is in the process of setting up a film fund to make the biggest Marathi movie ever – “It won’t be just big in terms of the budget, but in terms of look and feel. I have a top actress and top distributors willing to back me on the project. And now I am focused on getting the moolah on the table to begin work,” says Bardapurkar.