PRITI RATHI GUPTA
Interview By: SAGAR DESAI
Priti Rathi Gupta who started her film production house Ishka Films in 2014 with the movie WAITING is now all set to come out with her next film KARWAAN, in an interview with us she told us about the kind of films that she likes to produces, the right kind of promotion of a film and what drew her into making films.
What is the USP of the movie Karwaan?
So I think KARWAAN is a movie which is a very funny road trip between three people and it has it’s humor in the right place and it has its heart in the right place and it is a film that everyone will relate to in some way or the other, as I talks about a parent and a child relationship and it also addresses how people with different mindset, different ages put together in a situation, the very odd situations that are created and how they deal with it.
What are the kinds of scripts that attract you as a producer?
The kinds of script that attract me are that I think are more relatable and relevant in this day and world and yet are entertaining. They are not the ones that are far remove from reality, they are great stories and they are thought provoking, there is humor and entertainment and all of it together and I think that is what story telling is all about.
What are the challenges that you have faced so far as producer?
Well not really, I think when you try to say a story the challenge is to say a great story, get great talent on board and actually take It to the audience on the power of that story and the talent, so when you don’t have an A list star with WAITING, I mean we had great talent and Naseer Ji is known for his immense talent, he is adored in the industry, similarly Irrfan is somebody who is a talent powerhouse. I think you need to get the right talent to play the right role in the script that is very important and I think that is something that is the biggest challenge of packing that film and bringing that film together. Once you have that, now how to you market it, have that you ensure the promotions reach the audience that the film is meant for, all of that is very important. I think those are the challenges but I just feel that you know the times are very dynamic, they are changing very fast and today you will have the audience is very aware of what they want to watch, what kind of cinema they want to watch and the good part is that there is space for all kinds of cinema. I mean I am a person who will go and watch a Salman Khan’s film as much as I will go a watch a WAITING. Also the digital medium has made the whole space quite interesting.
Today a lot of money is being put into promotions, how important it is to have a right kind of promotion?
As far as the promotions go as I said you have to know where your audience is, on what mediums is your audience and where you promote them. I think it’s only a question of creating the awareness of saying that this is a film with these actors and it’s quirky, its fun, I think that is the right way to promote. For example if I was to promote these film on prime time Star TV where my audiences is not there may be it doesn’t make sense. So therefore I have to choose where and which medium, if it’s a digital heavy medium then I have to look it at digital. So I think that there has to be a huge amount of intelligence to be used when it comes to promoting the film.
How many amounts of screens according to you should a movie get for wider reach?
I think this is something which is very debatable; a lot of people say that I want maximum screens for my film, now again it comes back to the question that is your audience there in all the screens that you are reaching out to. I think viability is a question you need to look at, I don’t think there is any price for saying that a film released in so many screens, your collections can come in from 500 screens, from 1000 screens or from 1500 screens, it’s the 80-20 rule again and I think there is a cost to go to every screen and therefore that’s what you need to pay attention to. For examp0le WAITING was completely a multiplex audience film therefore we released it on 400 screens, KARWAAN is a film that even the masses will relate to and also I don’t agree with the whole concept of commercial film, I think commercial film is any film that you are able to release and get money from. I think the commercials can wary from a 10 crore collection film to 200-300 crore box office collection but they are all commercial film. At the end of the day everybody make films to get the box office collections and to make money. So I think all films are commercial films.
What drew you into making movies as you come from financial services background?
I did a lot of homework on creating a film funds because I come from the financial services and there was a time where a lot of people wanted a film fund and I did a huge amount of homework on that but I think given our industry and if it is focused just on Bollywood films, I think it is very hard to create a fund because either you need to have a end to end buy from script to the theatres but I think the biggest bottle neck there is exhibition is the number of theatre we have. So to me I think that I realized that film fund is not violable but there is this very interesting space were you know have a content driven film which you can look at and monetizing on satellite, on digital and box office and you can still make a success out of it.
Which are your upcoming projects after KARWAAN?
So the next project I am working on is an international project we have developed it in India and we are taking it internationally, it’s a very interesting project and I think it’s a global film. Then there is a It is a biopic and I am very excited about based I India and taking a call whether to take it globally and then there is a Marathi movie. Hopefully I can actually give out the details in a month or so. I one think that I am keen to do is one film at a time because I think every film requires a certain amount of energy from you and given that I am new to the industry I think I really want to give one film all the energy.