Prernaa Arora, the chief of Kriarj Entertainment in a heartfelt conversation with Bollywood Hungama’s Faridoon Shahryar shares her excitement about her forthcoming release Toilet – Ek Prem Katha that releases on August 11. Prernaa talks about the release strategy of the film, how the efforts are being made to get a tax free status for the film so that it reaches out to more people, the contribution of co-producer and actor Akshay Kumar who’s extremely passionate about the film and how the social message of the film can possibly bring in a big change within the society.
Prernaa you guys are in the last stage of the promotions of Toilet – Ek Prem Katha. What is your thought process as the film is about to get released since it is carrying excellent reports?
Promotions are different from the usual. The emphasis is on Swatch Bharat. Akshay sir’s emphasis is on a different kind of campaign, very honest, straight forward way. He is connecting with the masses. The message is going across the way we wanted to. It is looking good. The release is looking very good. The content is the king. Everyone understands that. Nothing will work other than the content now.
What sort of screen count are you looking for?
We are aiming for close to 3500 screens in India.
It is being perceived that Toilet – Ek Prem Katha may end up becoming the biggest hit of Akshay Kumar. Do you feel the same?
Yes. I have a strong feeling. Toilet – Ek Prem Katha will create a certain wave. It is a step forward in Hindi cinema. The contribution by Akshay sir both as an actor and co producer is immense. The faith that has had in this film is tremendous. This man took this sort of content forward. It is really courageous of him.
Someone tweeted to me that apart from the box office, Toilet – Ek Prem Katha can possibly bring in a unique social change. There is a huge paucity of toilets in India. Today is Raksha Bandhan, there are reports that brothers are gifting toilets to their sisters. What are your thoughts?
This is the need of the country. It is a contribution to the Swatch Bharat Abhiyan. Honestly, we as producers this is the need of the country. It is all about cleanliness, external and internal. It is time people woke up to it. When we go abroad, we get mesmerized by the clean roads and infrastructure. Look at them and look at us. It is a shame that we are fighting this war internally. As a woman I connect with women more since they have such a shortage of toilets. It is a problem of hygiene. The film is a love story but there is much more to it.
Toilet – Ek Prem Katha has been declared tax free in Uttar Pradesh. I still remember that I strongly felt that Airlift should be declared tax free because of its patriotic fervor but somehow it got a tax free status in a few states much after its release. Are you making efforts to get the tax free status in other states now itself so that it actually translates into numbers from the start?
Yes we are talking. I hope the Government will make our film tax free across India. Hopefully! If people and the government feel that it is a contribution of an actor to contribute for something really worthwhile, then we will get tax free everywhere.
You have a very powerful actress in Bhumi Pednekar who’s looking very good in the film.
She is Jaya for us. I don’t think there could have been anyone else who could have performed the way she has. Women across the board will connect with her character. It such an organic character, you’d empathize with her character and how she is facing a tough situation with her in laws. There are so many women who face such problems. I am from North India so I can relate to it since a woman can’t speak to their elders. I think this film will influence the society.
Anupam Kher sir has a very important dialogue in the film, “If you change nothing, nothing will change”.
We have to change ourselves. Everyone must make small small changes in themselves. Akshay sir says that if we can practice cleanliness near us, it can create a big impact.