With ‘entertainment for all’ as his motto, Ritesh Sidhwani says three cheers to the new year with as many releases up his sleeve
This is the first time we will have three releases in a year. Game, which will release in March, is a whodunnit. It’s a completely different genre, which has not been tested by Hindi filmmakers for a long time. This is evident in the trailer too. The last time the industry produced a film like this was Teesri Manzil or Jewel Thief.
Game is a modern-day whodunnit, something that the common man will relate to. The story is ‘interactive’, edgeof- the-seat entertainment. It makes you think. But every time you think you’ve figured out who the culprit is, you realise you’re wrong!
The film has been shot in five countries and is a thrilling adventure. Watching it will be an experience of a lifetime, where the audience will witness picturesque landscapes never seen in the same film before. We have shot in Istanbul, Greece, London, Thailand and India.
Then we have Zoya’s (Akhtar) film Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara releasing at the end of May. Again, this film is of a completely different genre. It’s about three boys coming of age on a road trip in Spain. We have shot the film in nine to ten different Spanish cities and it has all the elements of a fun film.
And in December, we have our third release, Don 2, a sequel to Don. It is very exciting to play with three different genres in 2011.
In terms of marketing and positioning… Well, we completed both Zoya’s and Abhinay’s (Deo) films this year but will release them next year. We know it’s not enough to just make a film and make people aware of it. It is important to create a demand for the film so that people want to consume it as well. It’s about creating anticipation, making a film into an ‘event’ and making people feel they must watch the film and consume it. That’s how you pitch a film.
Thus we have spaced our films well and have deliberately maintained a threemonth gap between each one. We also have a lot to look forward to, like Reema’s film with Aamir Khan, which we will start in March; we have Abhishek (Gattu) Kapoor’s film, also Baba Azmi and Sudhir Mishra’s films. All these films are being produced by Excel Entertainment. These films too have been spaced very well and will kick off between March and January 2012.
We have worked with Reliance BIG Pictures and now we are working with Eros for Game. Don is still with Reliance while Reema’s film is a co-production between us and Aamir Khan Productions. We have never done a co-production before. We are yet to decide on who will distribute the film. All those we have worked with in the past are very capable partners. We have always had strategic alliances, whether with Reliance or Eros. But for us, it’s basically for marketing and distribution.
We never make a film with a specific audience in mind. This means we don’t target a film at either multiplexes or single-screens. There are people in the audience who just want to watch a Hindi film. Most Hollywood films have very low occupancy even at multiplexes, except for phenomenal releases once in a while like Spiderman or 2012. It is therefore very wrong to tag a film as a ‘multiplex film’ or a ‘single-screen movie’. Films should be able to cater to all segments of society and be entertaining for everyone.