April 08, 2020
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'Industry Is In Panic, No One Is Safe'

Soon after Gulshan Kumar was gunned down, the industry chose to stay indoors. Veteran film-maker

'Industry Is In Panic, No One Is Safe'

What is the reaction in the industry to Gulshan Kumar's death?

The industry is in a panic today and nobody seems to be safe. There was fear written on every face that attended the Indian Motion Pictures Producers Association (IMPPA) meeting. To make a good picture one needs a congenial atmosphere. The government should ensure that we can live in peace and make films in peace. And the Bombay police which we once believed to be as good as that of Scotland Yard's, should provide us with a sense of safety.

To what extent is the underworld financing the film industry?

Black money has been in the industry for quite some time now. Today, production costs have gone up to crores of rupees. The signing amounts are Rs 50-55 lakh. With so much emphasis on money, producers could turn to questionable sources.

So how is it that many can afford big budget films despite flops?

I am baffled when people say they have made a Rs 10-crore film. I don't know where this money comes from. I don't feel competent to work in such a scenario.

Why have you cut down on films?

Today, the emphasis is on money rather than picture-making. I want to make pictures but in this present atmosphere where money reigns, I cannot make them. When I made pictures, I never borrowed money. I worked on a minimum guarantee basis and I had the same financier for 20 long years.

If the government recognises the film industry, will this dependence on black money end?

The film industry is not recognised as one. It is the reason why we have not been able to get corporate finance or finance from respectable sources.

Does the success of a film depend on exotic foreign locales?

I am one of the few producers today who has never gone abroad to shoot. Why shoot in Switzerland when you have Shimla in your own country?

Have you ever been threatened?

No. God has been kind so far.

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