Interview By: DRISHTI PANDEY
It’s being a joy and equally a roller coaster ride for Madhu Chopra since her first regional film ‘Ventilator’ which won national awards and got accolades from the critics. She talks to us about how Purple Pebble Pictures is making an impact on the regional industry and trying to tap the untapped areas. Talking about their next Marathi film ‘Kay Re Rascalaa’ she shares the insights of film and their future ideas. Read on…
“Everyone use to say that, ‘Priyanka being in New York can’t make a film’, but we made good films”
After ‘Ventilator’ winning three major National film awards how does it feel and also do you think the responsibility has raised?
It’s bound to be compared but I feel there shouldn’t be any comparison because ‘Ventilator’ was a very niche and emotional driven film with all establish artist and all have done more than 20- 30 films so for that film not to be receive accolades would have been bad. But I’m glad it did, because it was meant to be a niche film, meant to be a very heavy film. And this film ‘Kay Re Rascalaa’ is a very light hearted film with all new comers, unknown faces; so in this I would say- is a comedy genre which is anyways difficult and doing with new people, new director, so to get them to get it right that is tough but that is what we have achieved. I feel making this film was more difficult than making ‘Ventilator’. And yeah of course responsibility grows as we think if this film works or not; but as I was explained by Priyanka, this is a completely different genre so not to worry; because it has to has its own life, it has to have its own quality, its own character, and mainly we cannot keep comparing otherwise we might just make a mess in our heads. So we need to disconnect it. We are still showing ‘Ventilator’ worldwide after so long of its release, so it’s a good thing.
Among all the regional films which one picks up faster and has more scope according to you?
I think Marathi. Very professional people making it with pleasure and working was easy as compared to other and Punjabi was most difficult and Bhojpuri was decent.
As a producer what are the difficulties you face or go through in industry?
It was very tough, firstly to establish oneself – everyone use to say that, ‘Priyanka being in New York can’t make a film’, but we made good films. And it’s very hard for outsiders to believe that Priyanka has a total control over the production, despite staying in New York. She has a total control over the production house. To that matter even what we write, what’s there in the script, in everything that we do is her contribution and in today’s technology one doesn’t need to sit in office to make a film. This is hard for people to understand and ‘Ventilator’ gave us enough validation. Bhojpuri was longest running film that also did well, ‘Sarvann’ didn’t do commercial well but it was very well acclaimed in the festivals. So all our films have fairly done well and I feel to reach that point Priyanka had to work very hard because her name is joined to it.
Which areas are untapped yet in terms of film industry and what’s your production house next motive?
The area which is untapped is Sikkim; there is no film industry there; so we have taken Sikkim characters, children, the crew, actors. There isn’t any industry so we made them learn everything, we did one month’s workshops and taught them and then shot the film. The film is shot in Sikkim so the whole Sikkim flavor has come in the film; so now we will release its worldwide and it’s a beautiful film.
In our previous conversation you had told me your production house aim is to tap on content driven scripts and new talent, so is there any thought of making an in house team of new talents of writers, directors, actors, singers.. ?
For now we just have a site in where we collect all new talents CV’s, new scripts, so we have made our email address related to purple pebble picture so we receive such requirements from there. We haven’t yet made a set up as such in office.
‘Kay Re Rascalaa’ the title itself sounds quirky and interesting can you put more light on it as to what’s the movie all about?
It’s about a smart guy; a gift or a gap. It’s this smart guy who tells small lies and with his smartness he uses it to earn money, he is educated but doesn’t go to work and has no work in hand but he needs money. So by cheating and by his smartness; his level of conning raises so high that he dreams about earning 10 lakh through his smartness. So it’s a con story in which he uses this small kid. It a wonderful story and it has a great ending too.
Do you think taking big stars of the industry will boost up the regional cinema?
I think there will be a big boost to regional and regional films and now the boundary has been lessened, today even the mainstream actors are taking chances and they doing regional films and if it happens then regional film will really get a good boost and it’s a good thing.
So in that sense, will we see Priyanka in any regional film?
Yes, she even did a cameo in ‘Ventilator’ but if she gets a good script she will definitely do. And in that case world’s any language she would do if it’s a good script (Smiles).
What’s the current status of your production house?
Three films are ready and they will be released end of this year and going on floor will be a Bengali film ‘Brishtir Oppekhyayy’ that’s also been written by Sahitya Akademi academy winner writer who is very well known in Bengal and the actors are also very well known and that is also another beautiful film that’s going on floor in August. After that more 2 – 3 films which we have signed will go on October and November.
From ‘Ventilator’ till date how has your experience been as a producer and what is that one thing you cherish the most in this journey which has just began?
I enjoy the process despite me just being the small part of it. We have good experienced people who make decisions and I look at the business; but the process is very nice and I’m enjoying and cherishing everything about it (Smiles).