Cinekorn founder Kalapi Nagada talks about his vision for progressive cinema and his forthcoming production ventures – Patel Ki Punjabi Shaadi and Tula Kalnar Nahi, in conversation with Suranjana Biswas
Are you happy with the reactions to Baadshaho?
Every film is a new milestone. And every new milestone is a new form of success that we achieve. We were initially in distributing limited territories, now we are distributing pan-India and successfully distributing these films which are doing well at the box office. It has actually grown at every level. There is a certain level of satisfaction for the distributors, exhibitors, producers, and of course the audience, when a film does well. That also makes us proud.
You mentioned that you were in distribution initially. How did you finally decide to turn producer, which you did with Patel Ki Punjabi Shaadi?
Well the ‘Patel and Punjabi’ concept is a typical marriage concept and has been in our minds. We have seen these two communities evolve around ourselves and there is a lot of humour, affection and love, which eventually has great bonding. The subject was very close to my heart as soon as I heard about the concept, I wanted to start with it because comedy is the best genre and it eases the minds of the audience. So, yeah, I’m looking forward to the film.
Simultaneously, you’ve ventured into the regional industry with Tula Kalnar
We have always tended to explore. We have seen the Marathi industry grow, an industry that makes realistic cinema. The box office numbers were also growing. So we thought we would be a part of this growing and evolving industry.
What is your vision of progressive filmmaking? How do you want to go about it, as a producer?
Everybody is looking for entertainment. We want to make more content driven cinema but with humour so that we please the audience. We are most comfortable with a comedy or a romantic film, to give as much entertainment as possible, catering to commercial cinema and making light-hearted films so that people will have complete satisfaction.
According to you, who is the most bankable star in India? Also, who are the actors/directors on your wishlist that you want to collaborate with?
I think most actors are doing great and most of them are bankable actors. Sometimes, it is the story or the making of the film. But according to Cinekorn’s perspective of commercial filmmaking, for me Akshay Kumar stands out! He has given some of the biggest hits in the form of entertainment. His kind of cinema meets our vision, whether comedy, action or romance. We would also like to associate and work with Ajay Devgn.
What is your take on the refreshing new trend in Bollywood of having small towns as the backdrop of a film?
It does make a difference when you have your own place as the backdrop. Like Patel Ki Punjabi Shaadi was shot in Gujarat and Punjab. It makes the film easier to relate to and connect with. But at the end of the day, there is the expectation of entertainment from the film. Obviously, a certain geographical area will be relatable to that but, overall, it is one concept for every film, where the audience is looking for entertainment.
Even though we have started to accept that content is king, sometimes ‘content-driven films’ do not see box office success.
Going back to Cinekorn’s vision for commercial cinema, 80 per cent of the audience looks for light hearted films. Not everyone is keen on realistic cinema. Sometimes, they want escapist cinema, away from reality. Films that bring a smile to the face of the audience make good money at the box office.
Tell us about your projects in the pipeline…
We are announcing a Marathi film but the star cast is yet to be announced. We are also making a South remake called Dhruva. The third project is on its way as well, which is a woman oriented film. Right now, we are observing and learning. Right now, we don’t want to get into that space… there is nothing to ask for because we have complete faith in the people we are working with. We know what they are going to deliver to the audience. So we are enjoying that process right now, we are doing our job on the business of the film, the release of the film, the marketing of the film and putting the film together. We are presenting the film. So Toilet: Ek Prem Katha is a presentation of KriArj Entertainment with Viacom 18. Rustom was our collaboration with Zee Studio to present the film. It’s the same with all the other films too.