‘I was always told that there is no business like media business’~ Vikram Mehra
For new independent filmmakers of the country, this is a glorious time. Film industry in India, is experiencing a fresh transition and even though the thinkers and makers are the heart and brain of these films, the reason for the films reaching audiences is a credit reserved for the few who are financially backing this change. Saregama India Ltd. diversified into film and television content production in late 2016 and Ajji is a product of this expansion. Vikram Mehra, MD, Saregama India spoke to us about his experience in the media industry, the company’s future plans and Ajji.
At what stage (idea or script) did ‘Ajji’ come to you? And what was it about the film that intrigued you?
All submissions to yoodlee come in as a first draft script, complete with dialogues and scenes. Each script is evaluated by a trained team of readers who are looking at theme, tonality, authenticity of milieu and the one line story. Ajji was a well written script, with a clear thematic message and tonality that stayed very close to its milieu. We at Saregama love such scripts.
In an earlier interview, you said that Yoodlee Films is aiming to produce lose to 100 films in next five years. With films like ‘Ajji’, are you looking to establish dark and grim content as Yoodlee’s flagship product?
Yoodlee is an umbrella brand that will encompass all genres of films. Our essential benchmark is “realism” and “authenticity”. Ajji is an expression of anger at the helplessness of certain sections of our society. We have love stories, satire, and feel good dramas in the slate for this year. Our first slate of 10 films include films in Hindi, Tamil. Malayalam, Marathi and English
‘Ajji’ being your very first Hindi release bagged an entry at the Busan Film Fest. How was it when you heard this news?
Humbling to get entry into such a prestigious festival. Beginner’s luck I guess.
From a Senior Systems Analyst in TCS (Tata Consultancy Services) to the Managing Director of Saregama India Limited, how has the evolution been for you as a content producer?
I was always told that there is no business like media business. And after 17 years of Star TV, Tata Sky and Saregama I can’t agree more with this statement. The basics of the business remain the same, understand your Customer and success will follow.