Independent filmmakers lack support: Hemant Gaba
New Delhi: Director Heman Gaba, whose debut film ‘Shuttlecock Boys’ is finally set to hit the theatres after a year-long wait, says independent Indian filmmakers find little support in a market dominated by big budget movies.
"Shuttlecock Boys" revolves around the lives, successes and failures of four friends, who play badminton every night.
"My film is finally releasing on August 3. I have waited more than a year for it. It is the story of every independent filmmaker. Such films are low budgeted and we don`t have enough money for publicity and promotions. The situation is grim for independent filmmakers," Hemant told reporters.
"If you don`t have a brand backing, then it gets really difficult. There are at least 20 such films that I know of which are awaiting release," he said.
The filmmaker admits that the situation is changing but it will take some more years for indie films to be accepted completely and have hassle-free releases.
"Things are looking up. This year we had a film like `Malegaon Ka Superman` which has done really well. There is a dedicated audience.
It will take some time before it changes, may be another four to five years," he said.
Hemant said that big budget Bollywood ventures make it almost impossible for filmmakers like him to convince corporate houses to back their films.
"Our films are not like the ones produced in Bollywood, which have huge budget. Even the regional film industry has its own market and doesn`t face such problems. It is just us. When I approached a corporate house, they asked me to bring one crore for promotions. Now how can I get so much money when my budget is just 35 lakhs?" he said.
The film has gone to several film festivals in major
cities like New York, Chicago, Seattle and Florida but Hemant said that it did not help much while trying to get the film released in India.
"Festivals helped in generating a buzz but did not make it any easier for me to get it released. One needs a backing like Anurag Kashyap or a brand like the Cannes film festival. Even `Udaan` was bought by UTV only after it was screened at Cannes in 2010," he said.
When asked why he did not approach Kashyap, who readily backs independent ventures, Hemant said that "Shuttlecock Boys" did not meet the criteria of the kind of film he endorses.
"Anurag is a busy man. He has 20-odd films in his kitty. I did get in touch with his production house. My film did not match the criteria of the kind of films he endorses. They prefer more like a gritty, hard-hitting, dark film. My film is nothing like that. It is soft and happy go lucky," he said.
"Anurag is the face of independent cinema but he cannot be the father of all films. We should find our own way and learn to do it without any help," he added.
Hemant is currently writing his next film titled "Defiance", which he said is a dark film inspired by a story he read in the Huffington Post.
"My next film `Defiance` is a film about a teenage girl, who accuses her father for raping her. I was inspired after reading a similar story in the Huffington Post. It is a dark film and will go on floors in February next year. The star cast has not been finalised yet but I have decided to make the film with completely new actors," he said.