FRIDAY REVIEW

All about intent!

Straightforward Atul Pandey.

Straightforward Atul Pandey.  

ANUJ KUMAR

With “Summer 2007” making a cut for IFFI, producer Atul Pandey is charged up.



Finally there is some good news for producer Atul Pandey. His “Summer 2007” has been selected for Indian panorama at the International Film Festival of India in Goa. The film on farmer suicides and reservation policies found favour from critics for its noble intent but failed to find much support at the box office. “It is the distributor who marred the prospects of the film. It got only 338 shows. Compare it to “Karzzzz”, which got 5000 shows a day across the country.”

Atul agrees the film was not a great effort. “But the subject was novel and in national interest. How many times post independence we have a mainstream film on national issues like Emergency and Mandal Commission. The film could have done well in smaller towns, had it been promoted well.”

He points out in Allahabad 500 farmers turned up to watch the film. “The problem with corporate houses is they are not investing their money. They are listed companies which are investing public’s money in 20-30 film projects at a time. In such a situation they can easily run down a project according to whim.”

The company in question is Adlabs (now Big). Mincing no words, Atul says the management guys have little understanding of aesthetics of cinema. “They are just concerned about their money which they have raised from the market. Like television, they have begun to decide the look, the lipstick, the sari in vogue and then expect the creative people to churn out clone after clone. There is no social responsibility.”

Interesting line-up!

More of an executive producer, this winter Atul has a number of projects of lined up. First is the long-delayed Bhairavi, which is ostensibly passed on the relationship between Pandit Ravi Shankar and his first wife. Atul prefers to play safe. “It is very much like “Abhimaan”. And one must understand there is nothing like absolute fiction. The writer picks up from something which happened around him. When eminent writer Ashok Mishra offered me the script he told me it’s about the life of a noted musician and his talented wife.” Enough to read between the lines!

Then Atul is launching two films with some fresh faces. “There is ‘Jalebi Culture’ on the life of journalists and then there is a kids’ film ‘Laaton Ke Bhoot’. My only criterion is how much fire an individual else.” Among the newcomers he is promoting is Abhay Goel, a child prodigy, who would be composing a few songs and well-known journalist Deepak Chourasiya, who is writing a film for him.

On the impact of global meltdown on the industry, Atul says things will rationalise. “People will have less fun at the cost of someone else’s money. We are still a poor country and the stars should realise this before charging exorbitant amounts. It should make some business sense.”



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