“Follow your gut’, says Siddharth Roy Kapur as he shares his success mantra at IIFTC

We Indians have a special grammar in our films, unlike others, namely the song & dance sequences.

Mumbai: In a fireside chat at the India International Film Tourism Conclave 2022, producer Siddharth Roy Kapur gave out his success mantra to a discerning audience consisting of 20 countries who had come to pitch their locations to Indian filmmakers—'Follow your gut.’

In a discussion with the South Swedish Film Commission head & European Film Commission Network co-president Mikael Svensson, Roy Kapur Films founder, MD Siddharth Roy Kapur said that he had always been in love with the story before he decided to produce it. Commenting on the occasion, he said, "When we decided to produce Rang De Basanti in 2005, many people warned us that the film may not work well, as in the ending, the cast dies, but we followed our gut. The success of the film paved the way for many more such projects and newcomers in the industry. Ronnie Screwvala backed talent whose stories we loved, irrespective of what the market or trade pundits might think."

Answering a question by Mikael Svensson on his personal favourite film as a producer, Kapur answered, "The Last Film Show," without batting an eyelid. Continuing the conversation, he said, "The Last Film Show is one of my favourite films as it makes the viewers fall in love with cinemas. An Indian Oscar is long overdue and all of us are keeping our fingers crossed. We Indians have a special grammar in our films, unlike others, namely the song and dance sequences. Many people might not like them, but I strongly feel that they should survive. Our country has space for both international cinema, regional cinema, and Hindi language cinema—due to the large audience size and the large Indian diaspora spread globally, whenever we start a film, it is primarily the Indian audience that we keep in mind."

Commenting on the South Indian Film Industry, Kapur said, "The South Indian cinema is having its renaissance moment. The audiences have started accepting and appreciating such films." On what goes behind choosing a shooting location for the film, the 48-year-old filmmaker said, "We as filmmakers, want to be true to the script and hence prefer to shoot at the actual locations as in the script. However, budget sometimes plays a role, and if we get something that may not look like a force fit but still be in our budget, then we select that location."

Svensson also told the audience a lesser-known fact about the ex-president of the Producers Guild of India. He used to love acting in school and college and was the head of his college dramatics society. Kapur laughingly said, "Producers are acting all the time. I enjoyed acting in school and college, but being an actor professionally is different. I realised the differences early on and became a producer, as I believed it suited me more as a person."

The evening was the second day of the three-day film tourism event, featuring over 50 international companies from over 20 countries coming to Bollywood, Mumbai to woo Indian filmmakers. The event saw participation from countries including Azerbaijan, Abu Dhabi, Krakow, Kazakhstan, Montenegro, Norway, Oman, Panama, Poland, Sri Lanka, Sweden, and Yas Island, to name a few.

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