Bollywood has some of the most difficult barriers, mostly built by it"s self enacted gatekeepers, in any industry in any part of the globe. Filmi families, old school thinking, star fascination despite incurring a loss of Rs 3500 crore in 2009, casting couch, irrational thought processes, etc, etc.
The higher the barriers, the greater the thrill in overcoming them. The few who dare, don"t think about consequences, they just dare and do. Sometime back we had done a write up on one such individual, Sartaj Singh Pannu and his whole struggle to take a bunch of freshers, an experienced actress who is known to be selective in what she does, some great music and aspire to do a film, which was small, but not specifically Arthouse or festival obsessed, but one that aspired to reach the audience. A commercial film, whose strength was good scripting and good music. That was Sartaj Singh Pannu gate crashing Bollywood, Now he sits on the entrance!
There is a very good chance that the film is going to hit the theaters very shortly. Now, in what is probably a first in reporting, we follow his and his team"s thought process as they look back and look forward.
A reflection of an arduous journey, or anticipation of upcoming excitement, or both. A real and hard look at what it takes to get that commercial film made in Bollywood. Let"s start with the captain of the ship, the man who dreamt and who dared - Sartaj Singh Pannu.
What is it about film making that makes you put everything on line?
I want to express myself, filmmaking is a channel to my voice, be it personal voice, artistic or social
Then what made you choose entirely fresh people, under a new banner, a new director ..where the trade pundits would say its a 'suicidal project ?'
Be it big corporate, small producer, or wannabe film financer all of them give you the same 'gyan'. Then they react all fresh students? new banner? new director? It has never happened in our industry, you at least need to have Star Son audience love watching a new comer only if he/she is from star stable. Or you should at least have a big banner or big director attached to new comers, don"t waste other people"s money you won't even be able to complete the film, 'if you mange to complete the film than no one is going to release it, and if you mange to release than no one is going watch it !'
Well! So I made fresh team and decided to make a very engaging, New Age, a beautifully shot film that will hold them for two hours, a kind of film our generation next is waiting for I found my own space, made my own path so that others can also traverse into it when they find out that one man had already passed through it… it is possible…
When is your film Soch Lo scheduled for release?
We are looking at April release, probably towards the end of April, will take a call on exact date with my distributor by end of March
When you look back, how was the journey?
Risky, at every point I was tested, had to be innovative, be it in fund raising, direction, production, or marketing. I was challenged at every step. I realized that I have gained strength out of these challenges and risks. It really gives me a high now.