It's about money and publicity

It's about money and publicity

Theatre director and filmmaker Amit Rai is trying to find distributers for his new film Ipad, but he is having a hard time. Despite the fact that his most memorable film,Road to Sangam received 14 awards – nationally and internationally.

Ipad is about a Bhopal mechanic who invents in a sanitary napkin making machine. In his village where sanitary napkins are unaffordable, his wife would use dirty clothes during her periods. With his continuous efforts, he is able to gather capital of Rs 60,000 with which he is able to make the machine.

“The idea is to question the two largest companies in India, Johnson&Johnson and Hindustan Lever, which are the only two companies that make sanitary napkins, but they are unable to make it affordable for everyone. Their machines cost many times more, but this machine is cheap and is serving the same purpose,” Rai tells Metrolife.

He got the idea from the real life of Arunachalam Muruganantham, who does the same for his village in Tamil Nadu.

His way of proceeding with the film seems to be the same. Road to Sangam was also based on the real time incident of the last urn of Mahatma Gandhi’s ashes being found in Odisha. Nobody knew about the ashes for 50 years. It was said that there were a total of 26 urns, whereas only 25 of them were immersed after his death. After the news of the last urn found in State Bank of India in Cuttack, Tushar Gandhi was said to have immersed it.

“Road to Sangam was supported by good star cast like Om Puri, Pavan Malhotra and Paresh Rawal, also produced by Amit Chheda (producer of Aashiqui), it was less difficult to pitch to the distributors. But Ipad has a new cast who are lesser known in the industry and hence it is getting difficult,” says Rai.

Since Road to Sangam had already fetched awards at MAMI (Mumbai Film Festival) and international ceremonies it was eventually released.

According to him, internationally one does not weigh films on the basis of big names and budget, they screen all films from the same pedestal and has a more judicial approach for viewing and assessing films. He feels that it is not the same in India. He exclaims that no one except those who have seen Road to Sangam even knows his name.

“These days films like Court and Chauranga are finding its way, but in 2009 we were fighting for low-budget, independent films to get a theatrical release. We were paving the paths for these directors,” adds Rai.

He explains that money and publicity are the main factors. “If you have money you can do good publicity for a bad film and sell it, but with no capital even a good film is wasted,”
he says.