New Delhi: In India a film may get critical acclaim, win accolades at prestigious film festivals but still remain in oblivion from the general public. Director Nitin Kakkar's 'Filmistaan' is one such case. Having won the National Award for Best Hindi Film in 2012 the film could not get a theatrical release for almost two years.
"A film's awards have nothing to do with commercial release of the film," explained Kakkar. "To release a film you need a good amount of money. 'Filmistaan' was made on a limited budget with no big stars, so to find a distributor who would have faith on us took time. UTV Spot Boy showed faith and is making efforts to get the film released," said the director.
'Filmistaan' starring new comers Sharib Hashmi and Inaamulhaq is a story of a struggling Indian actor who gets kidnapped and taken to a village in Pakistan where he discovers that Bollywood is a common point to bond with locals. A films with no star surely was not easy to sell to UTV. "I have immense respect for the work they do. They produce big budget films like 'Himmatwala' as well as films like 'Aamir', 'Ship Of Theseus'. Agree that it is a star driven industry but good content doesn't go unnoticed. They showed faith in 'Filmistaan' which means a lot to us." says Kakkar.
Shot extensively in Bikaner, Rajasthan, the film was completed in 20 days schedule. Even though the film doesn't boast of a known star cast, Kakkar states that the actors were genuinely talented and hence chosen for their respective roles. "Sharib has co-written the film with me and he knew the character of Sunny Singh well. But we auditioned all the actors for the roles. Inaamulhaq's work I was aware of, he being a theater actor, but we auditioned him as well. It is my first feature film as well. If some one could trust me to helm a project, why shouldn't I?" asks Kakkar.
Although his film was completed in 2012 and getting a commercial release in 2014, Kakkar doesn't have regrets that it was a small budget film. "It was worth the wait. And I wouldn't have it any other way." Did he face any kind of constraint while shooting the film? " We could extended the shoot a bit more if we had the budget for it."
'Filmistaan' releases on June 6th, the same day as Akshay Kumar's big budget film 'Holiday: A Soldier Is Never Off Duty' is releasing in theaters. Is the director scared that his film will fail at the Box Office compared to the big actioner? "It is risky, I agree. But we have a genuinely good script in our hand. And the buzz around the film is quite positive. I want both 'Holiday' and 'Filmistaan' to do good business. I want people to watch both the films."
"We put in a lot of effort to make films. I'd want people to come to the theater to watch the film- they may not like it, they can criticize it if they want, but at least they should watch it," says the director a bit anxiously. Kakkar admits that the industry is Box Office driven but states that he will not compromise on the content. " I want to make good films, commercial films in future. But the script will be by top priority."