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“Of Course, Size Matters”

The first glimpse of upcoming Bengali film Amazon Obhijaan created waves last week with its record-breaking 97-metre-long poster. Producer Mahendra Soni,  co-founder and director, SVF, tells Bhakti Mehta what went into this innovation

You have created waves nationwide with the launch of a 97-metre poster of your film, Amazon Obhijaan. Whose idea was this?

I am proud of my marketing team to come up with such a great innovation. Making the biggest poster for the biggest-ever Bengali film got everyone excited. Now that we have launched it to perfection and it has created a huge buzz across the country, we are elated.

Was it a conscious decision to make it taller than not only the previous massive poster but also feature so many monuments from around the world? Did you want to make it so big that it would enter the record books?

Yes. I feel records are meant to be broken. What more reason does one need when one has made the biggest Bengali film, to break the record of the biggest movie poster set by Baahubali? I hope someone breaks this record too.

What kind of preparation goes into creating a poster like this?

Oh, don’t ask! It was a mammoth task. Apart from money and effort, you need partners and support from administration. I thank everyone for extending their full cooperation to achieve this feat. I hope we have made all of them proud!

What was the reaction from the industry and the audience after they saw this poster?

In a word, ‘incredible’. I have received congratulatory notes from all corners of the world. Social media was buzzing for a week. The event was trending for three days on Twitter. The video has gone viral. What more could one ask for?

Since this is just the beginning of the promotions for this film, what other marketing tactics do you have up your sleeve?

Now that’s a challenge but, you know, at SVF we keep doing exciting stuff. In fact, we have just done one more innovative thing by launching the first-ever graphic novel before the release of the film. And, what do you know? It’s already out of stock on Flipkart. We have another big announcement coming up soon.

Does a first step like this, which has got people talking so much, add pressure in the run-up to the release of the trailer and ultimately the film?

There’s always pressure when you make a film on this scale but we were also prepared for what was in store. We know that our team has done a great job and we are very, very confident that the film will surpass everyone’s expectations.

What prompted you to take such a massive step for this particular movie?

For the last 20 years, we at SVF have been trying to make better and bigger Bengali films. After the huge success of Chander Pahar in 2013, we could not resist making a bigger film. Amazon Obhijaan was the perfect idea, not only in terms of budget but also from a production perspective. The idea of shooting a film in the deep corners of Amazonia got us all excited and we took the plunge.

Amazon Obhijaan is one of the most expensive Bengali movies ever made. What was it about this project that brought you on board as producers?

I think just the sheer excitement of attempting to make a film on this scale and also the possibility that it could change the perception of Bengali cinema made us agree to produce it. Honestly, this has never happened to us and I don’t see it happening again in the near future. Not just me but the entire industry, including our competitors, are hoping that Amazon Obhijaan will create wonders at the box office and take Bengali cinema to newer heights.

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