He might be a new name in Bollywood but he has already directed three films in Kannada, down South. Hemant Hegde marks his debut in Hindi films with Khanna&Iyer produced under the banner of Mukta Tele Media. And that's not all for Hegde has already signed a three film deal with Subhash Ghai's Mukta Arts.
Khanna and Iyer stars the two winners of the talent hunt show 'Zee Cine Star Ki Khoj'. Was it planned as a project to launch the two winners?
Yes, the whole plan was to launch the winners. Mukta had an agreement with Zee to launch new stars from us. That's how the whole project shaped up. This film happened to me by accident. I am a filmmaker from Bangalore, I make Kanada films and somehow Subhashji's office got in touch with me. They must have seen my Kanada films I guess. I met Subhashji and he said, "This is the script and film, would you be interested in directing it?" I said "yes why not." That's how the film happened.
Tell us about the two debutantes - Sarvar Ahuja and Aditi Sharma.
Both are good and if they weren't, how would they have won the contest. They are good but the only problem is that they have to be told about the camera angles. They got it fast and within one week they were groomed. They have 100 percent commitment in their work. There is a kind of freshness, honesty and appeal they have which is magnetic.
Tell us about the film
It's a modern day take on culture differences. In films, the north and south culture has been portrayed many times. But it has always been portrayed as overrated type or in the Ek Duje Ke Liye manner which leads in a tragic end. But this film is a very realistic take on culture differences. It's a romantic comedy.
Why a title like Khanna and Iyer?
We wanted a title which will convey the whole film and also the light hearted way it's been treated. So, with Khanna and Iyer the message will be conveyed and when you hear this title you feel something is unique about this film.
Tell us something about your previous work.
I have done three films in Kannada and before that I was a television star. I acted as a hero in 2000 episodes. When I got bored of acting I went for direction and did three films.
With two newcomers and a new director, what do you think is the selling point of the film?
There is no selling point at all. I think it's a good film and now it's up to audiences whether they want to see it or not. I don't keep any expectations because you never know how the audiences will take newcomers. All I know is that I have made a good film.
Don't you think the film is not being promoted as aggressively as it should have been?
I have been told last week that there will be an aggressive promotion of this film because it is very important for people to know that the film is happening. Since there are newcomers, the promotion should start early.
Are you in any kind of contract with Mukta films?
Yes, I have signed a three films contract with Mukta but there is no restriction that I can't work anywhere beside their banner. I am open to other projects as well.