National Award gives personal kick, professional boost: Arindam Chaudhuri

Last Updated: Thu, May 19, 2011 14:20 hrs

New Delhi, May 19 (IANS) Pocketing awards isn't his motive behind making films - but producer Arindam Chaudhari, whose count of National Awards has turned to three with 'Do Dooni Chaar' being cited as the best Hindi feature film, admits such awards not just strengthen his confidence in simple tales, but also improves the credibility of his banner.

'Truthfully, we don't make films for awards. Of course, it is always nice to get such recognition on a national level, and it gives us a lot of happiness. But the larger picture is that it boosts a company's profile and business,' Chaudhari told IANS.

'I won't back out in saying that big stars cringe about working with banners that aren't established enough. So such awards improve the portfolio of our company, and makes it easier for us to reach out to commercial stars as even they get the confidence that 'These guys make good cinema!'. That's what is exciting, and gives a huge boost to our business,' he added.

Chaudhari, originally a management guru, started his stint as a producer under the banner of Planman Motion Pictures in 2002 with the Bengali film 'Saanjhbatir Roopkathara'. In 2004, he entered the Hindi film market with 'Rok Sako To Rok Lo', which failed at the box office.

But his next release, Bengali movie 'Faltu', fetched him his first national award - it won the the best film on family welfare award. In the same year, he produced Bengali film 'Dosar', after which he came up with English project 'The Last Lear' featuring Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan.

'The Last Lear', based on Utpal Dutt's classic play, 'Aajker Shahjahan', won two national awards - the best feature film in English, and Shefali Shah won the best supporting actress trophy for the film.

The producer continued making films like 'Mithya' and 'I Am 24' and went completely experimental with 'Do Dooni Chaar', a simple story of a middle-class school teacher and his hardships in running a house in a metro. The film had no glamorous stars - the story revolved around a middle-aged couple played by Rishi Kapoor and Neetu Singh.

Chaudhari had the conviction. He was confident that 'common man link' would strike the right chords with Indian audiences.

'When you make a film about the lower middle class, with a male lead who is more than 55 years old and cast a non-glamourised Rishi Kapoor with Neetu Singh, you know it is a risk - but with a good story, deep down you know it will do well.

'Luckily for us, 'Do Dooni Chaar' worked well with the common man, especially those over 30 years of age. A lot of people have seen the film and appreciated it, and reinforced my belief that you don't always need a big star for a good script,' he added.

The deean of management school Indian Institute of Planning and Management (IIPM), says his focus was always towards making 'good cinema'.

'Good stories, good cast, good crew and good message - with all these in mind, we always wanted to make good cinema, which was not necessarily based on stardom. For us, good meant simple. We turned to literature for a lot of our projects, and I believe there are a lot of novel stories in books which are waiting to be told through films.

'The biggest vacuum in our film industry is the lack of scripts, scripts that are sensitive, and that do not outrage the sensibilities of the common man.'

There are more films waiting to be told by Planman, but there's still time before they are announced, he says.

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