The producer reveals that her decisions are not always the most business-friendly.
One of the most successful producers in Bollywood, Ekta Kapoor recently revealed that Laila Majnu came to her when she was going through a financial crisis. Ekta who has launched two new faces with the film says that she loved the script and decided to produce it. “Honestly when I heard the script, I was going through financial crisis. My mom gave me the confidence to produce Veere Di Wedding and at that time I told her that I wanted to start another film,” she says. When she called up Imtiaz Ali, the director was surprised by her decision. “I called up Imtiaz, and he was shocked. He said, ‘The film is not financially viable on paper, why would you want to do this when you are going through a financial crisis?’ Clearly, the answer is that I loved the story,” she adds.
The producer who’s seen her fair share of ups and downs in the industry has chosen not to play it safe and cast star kids in her upcoming venture. “Had I signed someone who wasn’t a good fit for the film but was a big star on Instagram, or a star-kid, my film would sell but I would not be happy, in my gut. These two kids performed well in their auditions and so they got the roles,” she says. Ask her what her take is on nepotism, and Ekta doesn’t hesitate before replying, “I don’t do it.”
She also has a bit of advice for newcomers, or “untapped talent” as she prefers to call them, looking for a break—“Do not stalk me or follow me. Just send me your audition tape. Your legacy and background do not matter to me. Don’t make your friends, uncle, politician aunty or family friends call me, it will be a dampener.”
Set in Kashmir, Laila Majnu is a contemporary take on the classic love story featuring Avinash Tiwary and Tripti Dimri in the lead roles. The story has been written by Imtiaz Ali, and the film has been directed by Sajid Ali and produced by Balaji Motion Pictures and Pi Films. It will hit silver screens on September 7, 2018.