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With ‘India’s Most Wanted’ – yet another release from Fox Star Studios – hitting the theatres, we catch up with Rucha Pathak, CCO, Fox Star to chat about movies, how this year has been so far, for the studio and the line-up ahead. Excerpts:

Last year was great for Fox Star, with ‘Sanju’, ‘Baaghi 2’ amidst more. And this year there’s been ‘Ek Ladki ko Dekha’, ‘Total Dhamaal’. Are you content with this sort of success coming in?
Oh absolutely… our genuine hope and desire is that every film is successful – critically and at the box office. And that more and more people watch our movies; it helps that we have a slate that includes various genres of films and we work with many different film-makers and creative collaborators.

‘India’s Most Wanted’ has just released. Tell us about how things shaped on it.
‘India’s Most Wanted’ is a special film for us. Raj was researching the story and had broadly told me about it. The crux of the story about how the most wanted terrorist was caught by these unnamed heroes was fascinating. After the research and writing he came back with a solid script which he narrated to us at Fox Star and we all felt it’s a story that must be told and a film that should be made…something that I think Arjun also felt when he read the script overnight and came on board to do the film. The aim of the film was to keep it real and believable and I hope we have managed to achieve that for ‘India’s Most Wanted’.

What has been the learning from films which didn’t meet expectations and has that further made you conscious of your choices as a studio?  Case in point, ‘Kalank’.
Of course it’s disappointing when a film doesn’t meet expectations especially when we have high hopes for a film. In fact we have high hopes on every film of ours. A film-maker makes a film with the absolute intention that the audience will view it and like it. That’s the ultimate objective of all creative process that a film reach out to an audience. In some cases the audience embraces a film and in some cases it doesn’t. But as film makers we will continue to develop good scripts and work with filmmakers with a great creative vision.

Overall, what has been your aim for this year while 2019 started out, with the line-up of movies and marketing?
For me this year is about completing and releasing all the films we’ve produced internally. And we are developing our next round of films for production. We’ve put together quite a great mix of films that range from book adaptations to film adaptations to original stories. All the films have strong scripts and every film has been a great collaboration with the directors, the writers and the music directors.

As a studio, how do you think you stand out and what’s your agenda at this point in terms of the cinema you’ll want to make and be remembered for?
Firstly, I think we’re a very prolific Studio. We have a lot of films that we’re producing, co-producing, marketing and distributing. And we also work like a Production Company inside a Studio. Our agenda is very simple…we like developing scripts and we’re constantly pitching our scripts and concepts to directors. Also if we hear or read a script we like, from a director or a script writer then we go all out to make them happen. And that’s basically our agenda – tell good stories and work with Directors and Producers who have a solid creative vision.

Over the years, what’s the one thing you’ll have learnt to pay attention to? Amidst all the aspects of film-making?
Scripts and budgets are the two key areas we attempt to focus on! If either of these go wrong, then we have a problem! This is what one has learnt over the years.

How do you perceive competition?
It’s great to have competition. As filmmakers it’s great to see other filmmakers do well and see what other film makers are doing. One learns from what’s happening in the Industry and as films get better it’s the audience that’s going to benefit! It’ll be interesting to see what kind of films the Indian audience is going to spend their money on because as one can see they’re watching big Hollywood films big time and they have access to content on digital platforms.

What should we look forward to…in the next half of the year from Fox?
Our domestic line-up includes ‘The Zoya Factor’ with Sonam Kapoor and Dulquer Salmaan directed by Abhishek Sharma that we have co-produced with Adlabs. It’s a delightful romantic sports drama. We’re really glad to launch Adfilm Director Rajesh Krishnan’s Hindi film debut with ‘Lootcase’. It’s a comic caper with a fabulous cast of brilliant actors Kunal Kemmu, Rasika Dugal, Vijay Raaz, Ranvir Shorey and Gajraj Rao. That’s going to be followed with ‘Dil Bechara’ with Sushant Singh Rajput where we’re launching Mukesh Chhabra as a director and Sanjana Sanghi as a lead actor. The film is turning out to be a beautiful musical with some amazing songs by AR Rahman and Amitabh Bhattacharya. And we’re starting 2020 with a special film ‘Chhapaak’ directed by Meghna Gulzar. Deepika and Vikrant Massey star in the film and we’re glad to be producing with Meghna and Deepika. And last but not the least I want to mention ‘Panga’ that we have developed internally with Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari. It’s a fabulous story that emerged from the research we did on Kabaddi. And we’re really looking forward to sharing the film with you. It’s shaping up really well with Kangana, Jassie Gill, Neena Gupta and Richa Chadha. And not to forget music by Shanker Ehsaan Loy and lyrics by Javed Akhtar. Trade Magazine



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