One of the most famous Bollywood costume designer and celebrity fashion designer has taken up the role of a film director. We are talking about Vikram Phadnis whose debut directorial project, Hrudayantar is already the talk of the town. Big names in Bollywood have supported the film and the new filmmaker. We spoke to Phadnis and he opened up about how big a role Bollywood celebs play in attracting attention in regional cinema and why it is important to have more cinema halls screening regional films in every part of the country.
From fashion to filmmaking, what made you to take the big leap? Why did you make the film in Marathi when you have more Bollywood connections?
Dreams don’t happen overnight, dream happen over a period of time. My dream to make a film started in the year 2003-2004. I wanted to make a film since then, but then not all dreams materialise. I tried making films thrice before, then I tried making one in Marathi and it turned up beautiful. I tried to make this film in Hindi but it just wasn’t taking off!
Tell us the thought you put into choosing the starcast. What is your plan as a filmmaker?
There was no thought really before selecting the starcast, Mukta Barve and Subodh Bhave are great to work with, and unbelievably talented actors in the Marathi film industry. Both of them have a great fan following for the art and craft they are in, and I am lucky to have both of them in my film. I don’t know what the plan is really, but definitely I enjoyed making my first film, and hopefully my second film by November-December. The fact that I could touch a person’s life, tell heart-warming stories, and change somebody’s life, made me believe in my dream of film making.
Marathi cinema is telling some great stories, and is being appreciated for the reality it reflects on-screen! Do you think Bollywood is able to do that?
Of course! Look at Neerja, look at Talwar, look at PINK, they’re all brilliant stories! I love the films Karan Johar makes, I look up to him for inspiration as a filmmaker.
Hrithik is doing a small role in Hrudayantar, tell us about that! How important are the Bollywood ties with regional cinema?
Hrithik has played a very big role in a very small way! It was important for Hrithik to act in the film, and I am glad he chose to go ahead with it and do it! His role in the film is just beautiful. When you’ll see the film you’ll realise how important his role is in the film and how he touches a life, and what difference he makes to the climax of the film.
I don’t know how important the Bollywood and regional cinema associations are. But what I know is, what Hrithik (Hrithik Roshan plays a cameo in the film) and Aishwarya (Aishwarya Rai supported the film and launched it’s music.) have done for us, we are indebted to them. So of course Bollywood plays an important role when it comes to grabbing audience’s eyeballs.
Will you direct a Hindi film after this, mostly because Hrudayantar is already making a good buzz much before the release?
I don’t know if I will do a Hindi film, but I am going to direct another film for sure, if it is Hindi then Hindi, or Marathi then Marathi, but I want to do this. I would love if everybody, a Maharashtrian or a non-Maharashtrian goes and watches the film, because it is such a heartwarming film! When it comes to screen distribution, it is very very important that regional films get more screens. I am glad there is an initiative to make sure they do, I am glad it is picking up the momentum.
It is great that every multiplex is supposed to screen a regional film. I am not only talking for Marathi films, in Gujarat Gujarati films need to be screened, so forth and so on. How do you think Sairat became what it is? Murramba, Tujha Tu Majha Mi, and more – all these films became hits because more people had the opportunity to go and watch these films.
Hrudayantar is a special film, not just because it is a directorial debut for Vikram Phadnis, but also because it is the third collaboration between Barve and Bhave, the duo who have given hit Marathi films like Ek Daav Dhobi Pachhad, and Agnishikha. Hrudayantar is slated for a July 7, 2017 release.