In one of the most unique offers laid out by a filmmaker, Onir has extended a chance for audiences to be shareholders for his short story Abhimanyu which would form a part of the 'five-short-stories-in-one-movie' that he is beginning to shoot soon.
Though there have been a few promotional offers in the past ('Sit through the film alone and you could get five lakhs', 'Get your money back if you don't like the film' etc. etc.), the concept of audiences being shareholders is something new in Bollywood parlance. Though in West, some independent filmmakers have laid out such plans while accumulating funds for their films, it is the first ever by a known filmmaker in Bollywood.
"Yes, this is a new concept in India but I think it will catch up soon considering the advent of independent filmmakers. I look forward to individuals, corporate houses and NGOs who believe in the importance of Abhimanyu and have trust in our intentions to come out and support our endeavour by contributing to it in terms of monetary help. Abhimanyu is the story of a child abuse survivor and I am aiming at collecting Rs.30 lakhs to make this film happen", says Onir who has taken a step forward in bringing forth important issues that have not been addressed in Indian mainstream cinema.
This is how the contribution will pay dividends for those who invest in the film/contribute to it:
# Rs.5000 to Rs.25, 000 will be regarded with contributor's name in the end credit roll.
# Rs.25000 to Rs.100,000 will be returned at the time of the release of the film and with acknowledgement in the end credits.
# Rs.100,000 to Rs.15, 00,000 will get credits in the beginning titles of the film and proportionate share in the profits
Onir is mighty excited about beginning to shoot for the film ASAP and is already targeting June for the first schedule to begin.
"My research tells me that in India, everyone out of five girl child and every one out of ten boys faces some form of abuse. But the society and law at large is not still vocal enough and addressing the issue. Most incidents of the crime do not get reported, hence leaving behind a traumatized and mute innocence to suffer. The heinous crime not only jeopardizes the presence of a child but also disturbs the entire growth process of an individual," says Onir in a hurt tone.
"My idea is to make available each film for educational / awareness purposes and at the same time be put together and released as a single film. At the end of the day, it is important for the normal cinema going audience to see this film. You never know, tomorrow Abhimanyu could be your own child," concludes Onir.