After burning fingers with art house cinema like The Great Indian Butterfly and Pankh earlier this year, filmmaker Sanjay Gupta has changed the strategy for his production house. He has shut shop on all experimental cinema from here on and would be concentrating solely on mass appealing commercial cinema.
“That’s right; I think its enough of experiments for now. It is entertainment that sells the most and though as a filmmaker, you crave to make something unusual as well, the industry is not in a shape to absorb that”, reasons Sanjay who tried to do something different with his experimental films.
All of this means that Sanjay Gupta’s production house White Feather Arthouse Films that propagated art house cinema has been relegated to the back seat now. Gupta would continue to produce films but under the original banner White Feather Films which has earlier made films like Zinda, Kaante, Musafir and Dus Kahaniyaan.
“Yes, art house cinema is definitely on a backburner. Recession broke the back of the industry and the producers’ strike last year came at a wrong time as well”, he adds, “When every other industry was coming up with ‘buy one get one free’ offer, cinema was the only business which didn’t extend it to the patrons. Tell me, for an experimental film, who would pay Rs. 300 per movie ticket? Unless you reduce the price, no one will step in theaters.”
Lamenting the state of the industry where only a handful of films went on floors in the year 2010, Sanjay Gupta reflects, “I am currently studying what is happening to the rest of the industry. This has been the worst phase possible in last 50 years. Thankfully there are signs of correction but I still won’t say that situation has improved dramatically for film making to be back in full steam like before.
There was a time when Sanjay Gupta had gone ahead and announced over half a dozen films in one go. However, in future, Sanjay is looking at focusing primarily on quality rather than quantity.
“My future production plan is simple, I have to make the kind of films that have worked with audience”, he brings in clarity here, “Objective for the next three years is to focus on quality instead of quantity. I used to think about bringing half a dozen films in one go; now it would be only three, but then they have to be terrific.”